Monday, April 26, 2010

Tonight's (Pork) Dinner

This morning I decided that I was going to use a half-pound of my Fairview Farm ground pork to fill some Chinese dumplings, but when I got to the IGA, eggroll wrappers had replaced dumpling wrappers in the refrigerator case. So I had to change my menu. Instead, I made an easy pork ragu, seasoning it with my trusty fennel seeds, to toss with rigatoni. Then I topped each portion of pasta and sauce with a dollop of ricotta cheese (alas, not the Narragansett Creamery ricotta that I'm planning on buying at Lucy's Whey on Friday). Here is the recipe:

Rigatoni with Pork Ragu and Ricotta
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 pound ground pork
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1 pound rigatoni

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
2. Add the ground pork, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, breaking up the pork, until the meat has lost its pink color. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and juice, bring just to a boil, turn down the heat, and cook at a bare simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and the tomatoes are falling apart, about 45 minutes. Stir in the fennel seeds and season with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the rigatoni until just tender and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the sauce and cooking liquid as needed to moisten. Divide among 4 pasta bowls, top each bowl with a dollop of ricotta cheese, and serve.


  1. That looks delicious. I am going to have to try this. I'm doing better at trying to capture some great meals that I make with local produce/food that i get at my local farmers market. You are inspiring me.

  2. Lovely! The ground pork also makes excellent meatballs.

  3. I woke up today thinking I would like to try a Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich with pork meatball! Too bad I don't have any meat defrosted for breakfast.