Mozzarella and Pulled Pork Ragu with Pappardelle Noodles
A few words come to mind when thinking about mozzarella; mild, cheesy, stretchy… ubiquitous, it’s everywhere. We cannot imagine life without mozzarella. Simple, understated, but very important in the world of cooking. It completes a pasta al forno dish or a spicy pizza. We added it to this hearty bowl of pasta with pulled pork simply to showcase how a cheese so simple can compliment a rich tasting pork ragu. With a glass of merlot, this is perfect for a wintery evening or as a traditional Sunday dinner. Enjoy!
- 1 lb pork shoulder (sliced in 3 inch chunks)
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped spicy pancetta
- 1 large onion chopped (preferably Spanish)
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 cups tomatoes chopped
- Salt and pepper for taste
- 1 500 g package of pappardelle noodles
- 1 Santa Lucia Mozzarella of ball sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper the pieces of pork. Heat the olive oil to medium high heat in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Add the pancetta and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the pork pieces and cook until browned, turning only once, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork from the heat and set aside. Keeping the heat at medium, scrape up the browned parts from the bottom of the pan, add the red wine and cook until reduced, approximately 1 min. Add the chopped onions, celery and carrots and sauté until vegetables are softened. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, bay leaf and chopped rosemary. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Add the cooked pork pieces back to the pot making sure the meat is covered with sauce, if not, add a bit of water. Let simmer at medium low heat for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally making sure not to burn.
After the two hours remove the pork shoulder. With two forks, pull the meat, shredding it. Add the shredded pork back to the ragu, season with salt and pepper and let cook further for about 20 minutes.
Boil pappardelle noodles as directed or until they are al dente. Drain and add a bit of sauce to the noodles to prevent them from sticking. Place noodles in individual bowls. Tear the mozzarella slices over each dish of pasta, top with the ragu and chopped fresh basil.