One of My Favorite Sauces for Fresh Pasta
My friend Geoff is an excellent cook and an even better baker. You may have seen his recipe for The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie.
At least once a year, my buddy Barbecue Bob and I head on over to Geoff’s house to make 3 to 4 different types of pasta served with different sauces. Geoff has been working hard at perfecting his ragu, an Italian sauce made with ground meats, onions, tomatoes and wine and I think he found it with this recipe for pork ragu.
Pork Ragu Recipe
- olive oil
- ½ pound pancetta cut into small dice
- 3 pounds pork shoulder also called Boston butt, 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence Seasoning or one of your favorites
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 1 sweet onion
- 1½ cups dry white wine
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes and their juices
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves chopped
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Parmesan freshly grated
- 3 pounds fresh pasta cooked al dente
- In a food processor, puree garlic, carrots, celery and onions into a coarse paste. Reserve.
- In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Add the pancetta and sauté, stirring often, until fat is rendered and the pancetta is light brown and crispy. Remove Pancetta to a bowl and reserve.
- Season the pork with Essence Seasoning. Using fresh oil for each batch (I used pancetta fat for first batch), brown the cubed pork thoroughly in small batches. The pan should accumulate the brown color from the meat. Reserve each batch of browned pork with pancetta.
- Once all meat is browned and reserved, pour out old oil.
- Add small amount fresh olive oil to the pot.
- Add pureed veggies to the pot, season them with salt, and brown them. Do not burn.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce until nearly evaporated (several minutes). Return the pork and the pancetta to the pot.
- Add the diced tomatoes tomato paste, chicken stock, salt, pepper, sage and thyme. Bring to a boil while stirring.
- Reduce heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender (about two hours). Remove from heat.
- Stir in the heavy cream.
- Adjust seasoning to taste and cover to keep warm while preparing pasta.
- Add fresh cooked pasta to the Ragu in the pot, toss it and serve.
- Sprinkle fresh Parmesan to taste over top.
- Serve immediately.