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This is one of my all time favourite pasta dishes and I am not sure why I have not shared it with you earlier. It is one of those dishes that every time, I go to stir the pot, I have to have a taste or two or sometimes even three. By the time it is ready, I have usually eaten the equivalent of an entire portion size but does that stop me, hell no! I cannot wait to add the pasta and cheese and dig in with great gusto, (and if you do not tell anyone, then no one will be any the wiser – except maybe my waistline).

Meaty pork meat adds hearty flavor to this ragù, which marries perfectly with  pappardelle, wide ribbons of egg pasta. This dish would work well with game such as wild boar meat. The pasta is topped with fresh burrata cheese to give it an extra richness and creaminess. If you cannot get hold of real burrata, then just use a sprinkling of parmesan. Do not use regular mozzarella, it will simply be too rubbery and not add anything to the final dish whatsoever.

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Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 800 g / 1.7 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250 ml / 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 can (28 oz./875 g) crushed plum tomatoes
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Pappardelle
  • 1 to 1 1/2 balls burrata cheese

Preparation:

In a large dutch oven, (I used a Le Creuset 28 cm / 11″), heat the oil over medium high heat
Sear the pork until browned all over, about 8 minutes, and set aside
Add the onion, carrot and garlic and allow to soften, about 4 minutes
Add salt and pepper
Return the pork to the pan
Add the wine, tomatoes and  beef broth – the pork should be mostly covered by liquid, if not add more wine or broth
Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes
Add the balsamic vinegar, rosemary and thyme sprigs
Lower the heat to a slow simmer, cover, and cook for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally (you could place the dish in a preheated oven at 160 C / 320 F at this stage)
If necessary add a bit more wine or broth
Remove the lid and, using two forks, shred the pork into bite-size pieces
Discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions
Drain the pasta and add to the ragu, stirring to ensure it is all coated
Tear the burrata into pieces and arrange on top of the pasta and serve immediately
Enjoy!

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