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Garganelli with Pork Ragu

If possible, make the ragu a day or two ahead -- the flavor improves with time. Wait until the day you serve it to cook and add the pasta. Mortadella is available at Italian markets.

  • servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork butt, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh sweet Italian pork sausages (casings removed), crumbled
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 slices mortadella ,finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf (preferably fresh)
  • 1 small dried red chile, crumbled
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 pound garganelli or penne
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Season pork butt with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown pork, turning pieces occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl. Add sausage to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with pork.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot, and heat until hot but not smoking. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrot and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Add tomato paste; cook, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes. Stir in mortadella, herbs, chile, pork, sausage, and any juices from bowl. Stir in milk, and let mixture come to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until milk has been absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. Gradually stir in wine and stock. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat.

  4. Step 4

    Cover pot; transfer to oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, and meat is very tender, about 3 hours. If liquid is absorbed before meat is tender, add water (about 1 cup at a time), and continue cooking. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Step 5

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Add pasta to pork ragu; toss well, adding up to 1/2 cup pasta water if pasta seems dry. Serve with Parmesan.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, February 2005

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