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Pasta with Braised Pork Ragu

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Trim and remove any excess fat from pork shoulder. Cut pork shoulder into approximate 4-5″ wide pieces. Using a paper towel, pat the surface of pork so that it’s dry, then season generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a braiser, dutch oven, or other large heavy-bottom pot or skillet that has a lid. Sear pork on all sides, approximately 3 minutes a side, until a nice golden brown crust is achieved. Remove seared pork from pot and set aside. Do in batches, if necessary.
  3. Lower heat to medium. Add onions and carrots to the pan, season generously with Kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper (if using), and bay leaves, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in red wine. Let cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, until the wine has slightly reduced. Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Stir to combine. Add pork back into the pan. The liquid should cover at least 1/3 of the meat.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cover. Check on sauce now and again, giving it a quick stir and turning the pork. Cook for approximately 4-5 hours, or until meat is fall-apart tender. When pork is ready, remove from pot into a large bowl. Let cool slightly, then using 2 forks or your hands, shred the pork into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Remove bay leaves from sauce and return shredded pork to pan. Let cook on low for at least 30 minutes.
  7. When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in pasta and cook to package directions, making sure to cook to al dente. Drain pasta, then immediatley add to the pork ragu along with the fresh basil. Let cook for 1 minute, allowing basil to wilt slightly and pasta to absorb a bit of the ragu. Serve, with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano