Monday, March 11, 2013

spicy calabrese-style pork ragu

I have recently reached the conclusion that the kindest thing I can do for myself and family (and this is serious) is to have portions of homemade sauce in my freezer. There is nothing that brings comfort and assuages my workaholism-guilt like having a stash of very good future suppers available.

Ever since I made this, I am newly converted to the ragu sauce. For February, Bon Appetit Magazine featured spicy calabrese-style pork ragu on the cover. When I saw it, I knew I had to make it.  And it is just love- full of spicy goodness and unctuous pork. I made a double batch of the recipe below because I wanted that super-power ability to produce it for upcoming weeknight dinners.

spicy calabrese-style pork ragu

1 medium onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 1" pieces
1 celery stalk, cut into 1" pieces
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb. ground pork
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 lb. mezzi rigatoni or penne rigate
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano plus more

1) Pulse onion, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

2) Puree tomatoes with juices in processor; set aside.

3) Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add ground pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

4) Increase heat to medium-high. Add reserved vegetable mixture to drippings in pot, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8-10 minutes.

5) Stir tomato paste and 1 cup water in a small bowl; add to pot. Cook scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 6-8 minutes.

6) Add reserved meat and tomato puree and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, adding more water as needed to keep meat nearly submerged, until meat is tender, about 4 hours (I think I cooked for about 6 hours). Season with salt.

7) Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid.

8) Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce; stir to coat. Stir in 3/4 parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup parsley. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta.

9) Divide among bowls; top with more parmesan.

1 comment:

  1. Yep that's another one in your arsenal of super tasty weeknight meals you can prepare. I think I'll add it to my list as well!  ◕‿◕