flavor town. [pappardelle w. pork ragu]

June 29th, 2018 by | comments

One of my favorite gifts I received for my birthday the other week was The L.A. Cookbook, which includes delicious recipes from some of LA’s best restaurants. My husband and I have yet to make the trek to Union Pasadena, but now that we have this cookbook, we can make their incredible pasta with pork ragu whenever we want. The original recipe calls for tagliatelle, but we used pappardelle since that was what we had!

pappardelle w. pork ragu
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 lb. fresh pappardelle or tagliatelle
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 oz. guanciale, cut into lardons
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup celery, finely diced
  • ¼ cup fennel bulb, finely diced
  • ¼ cup carrots, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ bottle (375-ml) dry red wine
  • 1 quart (32 oz.) San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 quart (32 oz.) chicken broth
  • 1 ham hock, wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 1 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 3 basil leaves, chiffonade, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup grated or shaved Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • *Juice of ½ or 1 lemon, if necessary
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the herbs and cook, stirring until fragrant and crispy, then carefully remove the herbs and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Add the guanciale to the oil and cook, stirring well, until cooked through. Add the ground pork, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly browned.
  4. Clear a space in the center of the pot, add a little more oil, then add the smashed garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  5. Add the onion, celery, fennel, carrots and bay leaf and season again, then stir the vegetables and pork together. Add the wine, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, ham hock and the fried herbs.
  6. Cover and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 hours. Remove the lid and cook an addition 2 hours or until the liquid is reduced and the ragu is thick. Once ready, remove from the oven.
  7. Transfer the ragu to a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the butter and basil leaves, stirring until the butter is incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the sauce is too salty, add a few squeezes of lemon juice until desired flavor is reached. Keep the ragu warm while cooking the pasta.
  8. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then add pappardelle. Cook according to package instructions, until pasta is al dente.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked pasta directly tot he ragu and gently toss to combine. Add a ladle of pasta cooking water if the sauce is too thick. Stir the pasta in the sauce over low heat for 2 minutes.
  10. Add the Parmesan and olive oil and toss well. Transfer pasta to a serving bowl and garnish with additional Parmesan and chiffonade basil. Serve immediately.
Recipe from The L.A. Cookbook/Union Pasadena.

// share //