Slow Cooked Pork Ragú Rago with Pappardelle Pasta
Beautiful recipe from the TV series 'Cook like an Italian' by Essteele's ambassador Silvia Colloca.
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, skin on, bashed with the back of a knife
- 500 g piece of pork shoulder
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped 1 celery stick, chopped 2-3 juniper berries, lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle or rolling pin
- 4-5 marjoram leaves
- 200 ml red wine
- 400 g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups (500 ml) good-quality beef or chicken stock
- 3-4 bay leaves
- salt flakes and ground white pepper
- 400 gm of fresh pappardelle
- freshly grated pecorino to serve
- To make the Ragú, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the pork and brown all over for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the pork and set aside. Pour the remaining oil into the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrot, celery, juniper berries and marjoram and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Return the pork to the pan and then deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any bits caught on the base. Simmer away until the alcohol has evaporated (this should take about 2 minutes). Pour in the tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Add the bay leaves and season with salt, then cover and cook gently for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water if it starts to dry out.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, taste for salt and adjust accordingly, and season with white pepper. Remove the pork and shred with a fork, then return it to the sauce.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, drop in the pappardelle and cook for 2 minutes or until al dente. Drain well, but be sure to reserve a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to add to the Ragú. This will help bind the sauce and create a richer, creamier texture.
- Add the pappardelle and reserved water to the Ragú and toss to combine. Served dusted with pecorino and a little extra white pepper.