Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu
We don't eat a lot of pork in the McKay household, but this hearty pasta recipe turned out so well, it's sure to be a keeper. Pork ragus are traditionally made with slow-cooked, shredded pork butt or shoulder, but this one substitutes the more economical ground pork. It simmers on your stove for nearly 2 hours, so your kitchen will smell heavenly. Ideal for an informal winter dinner, paired with rustic bread and salad.
- 6 ounces sweet Italian sausage
- 2 leafy rosemary sprigs
- 2 leafy sage sprigs
- 1 celery stalk, cut crosswise into 3 pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 14-ounce can tomato puree
- 1 pound tagliatelle
Remove sausage from casing and break into bits. Tie together rosemary, sage and 1 piece celery with kitchen string.
In a wide heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, remaining celery, herb bundle and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add sausage and cook 3 more minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up clumps into tiny bits. Add pork and cook, breaking up meat into bits, for 3 minutes more, then add tomato puree and 11/4 cups water; stir to combine well.
Bring sauce to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 11/2 hours. Remove and discard celery, herbs and garlic.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and immediately toss with ragu.
Serves 4 to 6.
-- Adapted from "La Cucina Italiana," Oct. 2010recipes - whatsfordinner