Thursday, September 5, 2013

My First "Throwback Thursday" (Pasta with Pork Sugo)

My family has been grumbling that so many meals we absolutely adored are not made again, or worse, forgotten about. I had thought about doing throwback Thursday for a while now, but being miserably sick prompted me to finally have the boys pick an oldie but goodie. (With the caveat that it was easy for my poor sick self). My husband picked this baked orecchiette with pork sugo. I remember really liking it and it made a ton which will be breakfast and/or lunch for us so I can hopefully relax and get better. The good: it was as tasty as I remembered!  The pork was on sale so the huge (and I mean huge!) pan of pasta cost about $10. Add a salad and you have 2 dinners for just over $10!  The ok: they didn't have orecchiette at the store (and being sick I wasn't making pasta!), so I opted for small shells. I think they got a bit overlooked and were too small for the sauce. I think farfalle would be a better substitution  I halved the original recipe (I'm giving you the portions I used) and that meant using 1/2 a 14 oz can of tomatoes. Next time I will throw in the whole can just to clean up;). The only bad was I was in no mood to do any chopping and there was a good 15 minutes of it. Thankfully the rest of the cooking was largely inactive!  It was as good as remembered and a relatively easy dish that will feed a crowd for $10!

Baked Orecchiette With Pork Sugo

2 Lb boneless pork shoulder cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1.5 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 celery ribs cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 large sweet onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves very finely chopped
1/2 of a fourteeen-ounce can diced tomatoes
3/4 Cup dry red wine
2 thyme sprigs
2.5 Cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tbsp chopped oregano
1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper
12 oz orecchiette
1 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a large enameled cast-iron
casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pork in a single
layer and cook over moderately high heat until the pieces are golden
brown all over, about 12 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion and
garlic and cook until softened and browned in spots, about 8 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a simmer. Add the red
wine and thyme sprigs and cook over high heat until the wine is reduced
by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and
simmer over low heat until the pork is very tender, about 2 hours.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork and vegetables to a food
processor; discard the thyme sprigs. Pulse just until the pork is
shredded. Scrape the shredded pork and vegetables back into the
casserole. Stir in the chopped parsley, oregano and crushed red pepper
and season with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 375. In a large pot of boiling salted water,
cook the orecchiette until it is still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes;
drain well. Add the orecchiette to the casserole and toss with the
pork sauce. Scrape the pasta into a very large baking dish and sprinkle
all over with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake the casserole in the upper
third of the oven for about 35 minutes, until golden brown on top and
bubbling.  Let the baked pasta stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead The pork sugo can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat
before tossing with the orecchiette. Serve With Green salad

9x13 pan full!

It's not like "sauce" as you know it

Parmesan crust!


  1. Omg, Love the #TT as put with food! :) Is sugo kind of like pulled pork? I've got to try this

    Chow Down by the Bay

    1. I believe Sugo just means gravy but the texture is like pulled pork. It was even better the next day! We loved it!