Archive for the ‘sauces’ Category

Braised pork ragu, just like mama used to make

penne with braised pork ragu

Sundays were always special at our house.  Growing up, my mom would begin making sauce early in the morning.  I would wake up to the smell of  fried pork and simmering sauce.  There was always something about braised pork ragu made on Sundays, compared to tomato sauces made during the week.  It’s obvious there was more time and care put into preparing the pork ragu.  It was none more obvious then in the taste!

For those unfamiliar with braising, it’s the method of cooking with direct heat and moist heat.  The direct heat comes from the searing of the meat at a high temperature.  The moist heat comes from the seared meat simmering in the liquid (tomato sauce in this case).  Braised pork ragu,  like with any thing else that’s braised, requires the slow simmering in the liquid to break down the fibers of tough cuts of meat.

Here is my version of the Sunday sauce that my mom would make.  My mom would let it simmer for most of the morning, but it doesn’t  have to be left for that long.  Letting it simmer for 15-30 min is sufficient. Although the longer you leave it, the more flavorful it will be.  You can use lamb, veal or beef instead of  pork.

Makes 4-6 servings

Try this recipe and feel free to leave your comments:


Braised Pork Ragù:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Kg of pork butt pieces(or shoulder) bone in
1 tsp sea salt
1 med onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine
750ml Pureed Tomatoes


2tbs Sea Salt
450 g Penne
1/4 cup Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano


  • In a large sauce pot, heat extra virgin olive.  Once the oil is heated (about 1-1.5 min) add pieces of pork.  Do not crowd the pot as it will lower the pot temperature and cause the pork to boil.
  • Allow the pork to brown but not fully cook(on both sides), and remove from the pot.
  • Add onions and garlic to the pot and a pinch of salt to season. Add wine and deglaze the pot picking up all the brown bits at the bottom.  Allow the alcohol from the wine to evaporate and the onions to become translucent
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and stir.  Add the cooked pork back to the pot with the sauce and bring to a boil.  Once the sauce comes to boil, reduce to medium heat, add lid and allow to simmer for about 30-45 min stirring frequently
  • After allowing to simmer, lower the heat to low.
  • Put a pot filled with water on high heat and bring to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, add 2 tbsp of salt and add penne.  Cook according to package.  Remove the penne from heat about 2 min before recommended cooking time, strain and reserve some of the penne water.
  • Remove the pieces of pork from the sauce and add penne to the sauce.  Turn the heat to medium and allow penne to cook with the sauce, making the sauce “stick”, around 2-2.5 min.  Just before removing from heat, stir in a 1/4 cup of grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese and serve.

Buon Appetito!