Monday, September 1, 2008

Pork Ragu

Every time a storm is headed our way, I take comfort in throwing a pot of something on the stove, and watching Mother Nature’s best from the safety and comfort of my warm little house. So despite the fact that it was still 88 degrees when I started my sauce, I’m now reaping the benefits as the rain pours outside.

This sauce was one of those clean-out-the-fridge recipes, so all measurements are approximate, especially since I kept adding things as I went along. The pork is quite good with this sauce; it’s nice and tomatoey, and while you can’t noticeably pick out the pancetta, you can taste something just a bit different in each bite. And because it’s slow simmered, the pork just falls apart. I believe this shall be added to my pantheon of pasta sauces.

Pork Ragu
Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp. olive oil4 oz. pancetta (Italian cured bacon), chopped
1 lb. boneless pork, cut in 1” cubes
½ onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
¼ c. dry white wine
¾ c. chicken broth
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, or 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and add pancetta. When pancetta is nearly brown, add pork. Season with salt and pepper and cook until pork is starting to brown, about five minutes. Add onion, garlic, and rosemary, and saute until onion starts to brown, about 4 minutes.

2. Add wine and broth to pan, and then add tomatoes and tomato paste. Add a bay leaf.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 2-3 hours, or until sauce is at desired consistency and pork is tender. Season as needed with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper flakes.

4. Serve over pasta.

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