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Paccheri and pork salsa Genovese ragu – ‘Poor Man’s Ragu’ 

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Ingredients for Ragu

100ml olive oil
200ml dry white wine
2 sticks of celery – finely sliced
1.5kg of white onions – finely sliced
3-4 bay leaves
1 litre of quality chicken stock
300g pork neck
Salt and pepper
600g fresh paccheri pasta

 

To finish

100g cubed butter
100g freshly grated parmesan or pecorino sardo

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Method:

  1. In a heavy based pot or casserole dish add the olive oil and heat to just below smoking point
  2. Season your pork well with both salt and pepper on all sides 
  3. Add the meat to the hot pan, sear about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown all over
  4. Remove meat from the pan – there should be some caramelisation on the bottom from the meat – keep this!
  5. Add the wine and using a wooden spoon mix the caramelisation into the liquid
  6. Reduce the wine until there is almost nothing left
  7. Add meat back to the pan and cover with onions, celery, and bay leaves – do not mix
  8. Allow the bottom layer of onions to catch slightly (this helps create the rich colour later on)
  9. After 2-3 minutes stir the mixture together, then turn the heat up to max for about 1 minute
  10. Place a lid on top, then turn the heat down to the lowest flame on the smallest hob – leave to braise for 5 hours, check every 20 minutes to ensure it is not catching. Adding chicken stock if needed.
  11. Once the onions are completely broken down, shred the meat and mix together – the meat should be super tender 
  12. In a separate pot add salt to boiling water 
  13. Add the pasta to the salted water for 1-2 minutes until al dente – then drain but make sure to reserve a good amount of pasta water
  14. Add the pasta to the ragu and mix together, adding pasta water until your desired consistency 
  15. Finally add your cubed butter and grated cheese, stirring vigorously – be careful not to let the butter split. 
  16. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired
  17. Serve with extra cheese if preferred.