You may have noticed that the frequency of my posts has waned a bit lately.
There are a few reasons for this… one, is I am very pregnant and I underestimated the amount of brain energy that creating a whole new human being would consume. I can’t speak for anyone else, but at age 41, this procreating thing has put me into an existential tail spin and also made me a little tired. I probably could have written posts about just anything to satisfy the crowd that believes “YOU HAVE TO POST WEEKLY, AT LEAST!!!” or it is blog suicide. I would love to post weekly and perhaps I will begin doing so again. I strive to write about things that I am proud of and that I can go back to in a few years and re-publish because it was that “intentional”. I appreciate those of you who are subscribed to my blog and smile when a new post appears in their inbox. I am very excited about future blog posts, videos, RealFoodies and The Yum Factor and I am figuring out how to balance that excitement with the thrill of bringing a little human being into my family that brings with her a whole world of gadgets and gear that, until now, I only observed on passerby strollers. Ok – my philosophical moment is over… for now.
PAPPARDELLE WITH PORK RAGU
This is one of my favorite dishes at Delarosa on Chestnut Street in San Francisco. They call it Pappardelle Napoletana. It is luscious and sexy, yet so comforting, kinda like the perfect partner. Oy – enough with the metaphors. If you have never had pappardelle pasta, you need to. These thin and wide ribbons of gorgeous pasta are the perfect bed for the most simple sauce to this hearty ragu. It is the pasta equivalent of silk sheets.
I looked up a few recipes on the Google because I wanted to impress my man for our anniversary. I found one that sounded like it could taste like the one at Delarosa and tweaked it a bit. I am going to ask if Chef Ruggero Gadaldi if he will share his and will compare the two for you when I have it. For now, this one, along with my tweaks, turned out beautifully. I could have eaten two huge plates and not just because I am prego. Items I tweaked are in bold. You may click here to see original recipe. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/m/recipe/appardelle-pork-ragu.html
- 1 rack baby back ribs, cut into individual ribs – or 4 rib pieces
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2-8 Tbs. olive oil ( I like a lot of evoo)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped into very small pieces – I ended up with big chunks o carrots, which I didn’t like.
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3/4 cup dry red wine (original calls for 1/2 cup)
- 1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, chopped ( I used San Marzano – available at Trader Joe’s)
- 1-2 T Dried Oregano
- 1 lb. fresh pappardelle (recipe calls for making it. I don’t think so)
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In a nonreactive Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ribs and brown, turning as needed, until nicely caramelized on all sides, about 20 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a plate.
Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and deglaze the pot, scraping up the browned bits from the pot bottom. Cook for 1 minute to cook off some of the alcohol. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer. Return the ribs to the pan, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the ribs are very tender and the meat comes away easily from the bone, about 2 1/2 hours.
Remove the ribs from the sauce and let cool slightly. Remove the meat from the bones and shred it. Return the meat to the pan and cook, uncovered, over low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a rolling boil over high heat and add about 2 Tbs. salt. Add the fresh pappardelle, stir well and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 1 to 2 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK FRESH PASTA (Reserve a little pasta water just in case) Drain and add the pasta to the sauce, tossing gently to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup cheese and toss again. Serve immediately and pass additional cheese at the table. Supposed to serve 6-8, but I think 4 is more like it if you serve it with a light salad. Will serve 6-8 if there are other apps or main dishes involved.
Adapted from a recipe Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).
The salad shown with the pasta is simply pre-washed Maché rosettes with avocado, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. I needed something citrusy and light to cut the heaviness of the pasta.
Pregnant pause: This simply means to pause during speech to create suspense. I wish I did more of this. These pauses make you look like you are thinking deeply about what you are going to say next when, in fact, you are thinking of how happy you are that the McRib is back at McDonald’s for a limited time.