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Slow-Cook Pork Belly Ragu

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Serves 8
Slow-Cook Pork Belly Ragu

Ingredients

2 pounds pork belly
Extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces pancetta
2 tablespoons butter
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, pureed
2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped
6-8 Backyard Farms Tomatoes on the Vine, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 cup organic vegetable or chicken broth
1 butternut squash, cut into 1⁄2 inch chunks
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
1 pound tagliatelle or pappardelle
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation

Heat large French oven or cast iron pot with lid over medium/high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons EVOO to lightly cover bottom of pot. Season pork belly with salt and pepper. Add pancetta and cook 3-5 minutes, until crispy. Transfer pancetta to plate. Sear the pork, fat side down, until brown and crispy, then flip pork and add cooked pancetta, butter, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine and broth and bring to a boil. Then add tomato puree, tomato paste and herbs. Mix well and add chopped Tomatoes on the Vine. Top with butternut squash and cover and cook for 2-3 hours, or until pork shreds easily.

Transfer pork to large plate and discard excess fat. Shred pork belly and return to ragù mixture. Bring 6 quarts salted water to boil and cook the pasta for about 2 minutes less than instructions. Then transfer about 2 cups of ragù to large sautépan over medium heat. Add pasta to ragù in sautépan and toss until sauce coats pasta.

Divide among 4 low bowls. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve.

A Note from Susan M., Creator of this Recipe
A ragù is an Italian meat sauce traditionally served over pasta. We love the Bolognese from our local Italian market. But on this chilly autumn day, I wanted to smell the ragù cooking and build the anticipation of eating that first bite of pasta covered in sauce to warm the soul. I start the ragù with pancetta and opted for pork belly instead of another cut. Who doesn’t love bacon and bacon? Adding fresh tomatoes to canned San Marzano tomatoes does wonders. A last-minute addition was butternut squash to add some sweetness and a heartier flavor.