Ode to Fall: Pappardelle with Pork Ragù

~ 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.

35 thoughts on “Ode to Fall: Pappardelle with Pork Ragù

  1. Flip flops? After a last hurrah two weeks ago, summer seems to finally have bid us adieu and I’m sitting here now in a winter jacket because I am stubborn and refuse to turn the heat on before 10/1.

    I would eat this for breakfast if I had some here now. Looks so good and so warming…brrrr; I could use that!

  2. Oh, this one made me go weak in the knees… I was reading Cucina Italiana yesterday, and they had a very similar recipe made with a rabbit ragu. The chances I would find rabbit meat (unless I catch the poor thing myself) are zero. Plus, I rather have the pork ragu anytime!

    I am making it soon – it’s still a bit warm here.

  3. I am so jealous that you have 90°F in New England; we are very much into fall temperatures in Toronto — and I am not done with my flip flops and shorts! Non-the-less, I can certainly smell the allure of hearty fall meals and this one is lovely. Enjoy your weather while you can, the snow will come soon enough!

  4. Actually, this is going on the menu for our dinner party October 1 . Normally, I would never make something new for a crowd but I have great faith in you and your recipes. Thanks!

  5. Yum, this pasta sounds fantastic. I’m currently on a pasta kick and can only see it getting worse, considering cold weather is approaching, ha!

  6. I’d take 90 degrees again. I love fall, but we’re off to a gloomy start. I prefer crisp and bright sunny days to cool, damp and gray. Hopefully the sun will find it’s way back to us! This meal looks fabulous!!! I love anything Italian and would have no trouble eating at least a 1/2 pound of pasta in this dish!

  7. This looks really good!! And I share your yearning for New England falls. When it’s as hot as it’s been here in Mill Valley this week, it’s just feels unnatural! When it cools down, finally, I’ll definitely make this.

  8. I adore ragu- the aroma of the sauce simmering, and the way the flavors are always better the next day. I so wish that Fall would fully appear here on the east coast. It’s 80 percent humidity, in the high 80’s, pretty unbearable and disappointing. Maybe October will be better.

  9. Such gorgeous writing! Especially that part about the sun lowering seductively. Having so little summer in San Francisco, I’m welcoming the heat – but my mind is absolutely geared up for fall. Especially with cooking. It’s tricky!

  10. I made this ragu and it was elegant and delicious. Still have a portion in the freezer to pull out for my next fancy meal. Parpardelle is one of my favorite pastas and I found it at the local Italian store. Perfect for company or just to comfort you on a cold night.

Comments are closed.