~ Pork and Tomato Ragù with Pappardelle ~
I am going to ignore that it is 90 degrees outside. It’s fall after all. For those of you who know me, it’s that time of year when I have a little rant about missing New England weather. September is the time when the air puts on a chill just like a wooly cloak, the sun lowers seductively in the horizon, winking and casting its golden light while the aroma of turning leaves fills the air. I know I shouldn’t complain while I don my sunglasses and smear on more sunscreen, but I do. As I walk about the house in shorts and flip flops, I like to pretend that I am still in northern Europe or Boston, switching out my tank tops for fluffy fleece and packing tissues in my pocket to stop a runny nose. I might need a fan right now, but I can also indulge in warming fall comfort food.
Pappardelle with Pork Ragù
If you can stand it, refrigerate the ragù overnight before serving to allow the flavors to develop. This recipe will make enough ragù to serve a family of four with enough leftover to freeze for a second meal.
2 pounds pork butt, excess fat trimmed, cut in 2 inch chunks
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
2 (28 ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes with juice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound pappardelle pasta, cooked until al dente
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and pepper the pork. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering. Add pork in one layer in batches, without overcrowding. Brown on all sides; transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining pork. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add onion, carrots, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Carefully add wine (it may spatter.) Cook, stirring up the brown bits and to burn off the alcohol, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Return pork to the pot and submerge in the sauce. Simmer, covered, over low heat until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Remove lid and continue to simmer, skimming fat occasionally with a spoon, until sauce is thickened, 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked pappardelle with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.