PORK RAGÙ WITH PAPPARDELLE Ragù is most often made with beef, but here tender pork shoulder creates a luscious and delicious sauce to toss with pasta. Use fresh pappardelle if you can find it, but if you can’t, dried pappardelle, spaghetti, or linguine will work just fine. This ragù gets better the longer it sits, so if you have the time, consider making it a day ahead. Serve with Grilled Romaine with Lemon and Parmesan and a hearty Italian red wine, like Barolo.
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12 ounces fresh pappardelle
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sprinkle the pork shoulder with salt and pepper.
- In a large cast-iron cocotte, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the pork on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes, working in batches if needed, removing the pork to a bowl as it is browned. Carefully remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan. Add the onion, carrots, celery, fennel, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until softened.
- Add the fennel seeds, sage, and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pot with the wine, then add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Return the pork to the pot, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and braise for 21⁄2 hours, or until the pork is fork-tender. Remove the cover and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced slightly.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the pappardelle according to the package instructions for al dente. Drain.
- Remove the pork from the braising liquid and shred it with two forks. Return the pork to the pot, taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Toss the pasta with the pork ragù and serve immediately, topped with cheese.