The City Magazine Since 1975

Pork Ragu with Pappardelle

December 2021
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1 (3-lb.) pork shoulder
Salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 head garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 2 lemons (about 4 tsp. zest and 6 Tbs. juice)
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a bundle with kitchen twine
Parmesan cheese rind
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into quarters
1 lb. pappardelle pasta (or black pepper pappardelle)
1 (10-oz.) bag fresh spinach
3 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the canola oil.
Sear the pork on all sides, about three to four minutes per side. Remove the pork from the pot and set it aside on a plate. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for two to three minutes, scraping up all of the brown bits stuck to the bottom.

Add the pork back to the pot with the onion and garlic. Add the lemon zest and juice, wine, stock, thyme bundle, and Parmesan rind. Put the lid on the pot and cook in the oven for one hour, then turn the pork and cook for another hour.
After the additional hour, add the carrots and stir them in. Cook in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the thyme bundle and Parmesan rind. With two forks, pull off the fatty parts of the pork while separating the meat into shreds. Discard the fatty pieces.

Boil the pasta in salted water and cook according to the directions on the box for al dente. Before you drain the pasta, reserve one cup of the pasta water and set aside.

Add the pasta, spinach, and butter to the shredded pork in the Dutch oven. Stir to combine. Turn the stove top to low heat to incorporate the ingredients. Add a little of the pasta water to thicken the mixture.

Remove from the heat and top with the parsley and grated Parmesan to serve.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Hot Little Suppers by Carrie Morey published by Harper Horizon 2021