Pork Ragout with Pappardelle Pasta

The secret ingredient in this recipe is time (although there's thyme too). Letting the pork slowly braise in the tomato sauce builds a deep[ and rich flavor. We loved this served over pappardelle but it's great with cavatelli too. Make it for four or serve just two for a special dinner and you'll have some much appreciated leftovers.]

Total Time:
3 hr 15 min
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
2 hr 45 min

Yield:
2 to 4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound boneless country pork ribs (about 2)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 8 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Handful basil leaves, torn, plus more for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving
Directions
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, salt both sides of each rib, then add to the pot and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.

  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir to combine and then partially cover with a lid. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 6 minutes. Add the wine, bay leaves, thyme, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Nestle in the browned ribs (and any accumulated juices), then add the crushed tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of water (it's nice to rinse the tomato can out with water and then use 1 1/2 cups of that "tomato water"). Bring to a high simmer, then adjust to a low simmer and cover the pot partially with the lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender and falling apart and the sauce has reduced, about 2 hours. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the pot and add back into the sauce. Remove the pieces of pork and let them cool slightly; finely shred the meat, then stir back into the sauce. The sauce can now be finished and served or it can be cooled down, refrigerated and reheated the next day.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to the package instructions, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.

  • Stir the parsley into the sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt. Thin out with a little of the reserved pasta water and stir in the torn basil. Divide the cooked pasta among bowls and top each with some ragout. Drizzle each bowl with a little olive oil, top with a generous amount of Parmesan and garnish with a few basil leaves.

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