I am such a sucker for a good pasta with red meat sauce. My mom makes a killer spaghetti with meat sauce, and it was hands down my favorite thing she made growing up. She taught me how to make it, and after a few
misses learning curves, I did master it. I’ll blog it sometime.
As much as I love the spaghetti and meat sauce of my youth, I do branch out and try other recipes. So today, we have this delectable meaty ragout made with pork, apples, and capers. I discovered this dish last year with my apple picking stash, but didn’t end up blogging it. Reason being, while it was initially simmering away, it looked rather odd for a meat sauce, and I was convinced the recipe wasn’t going to come together and work well, so I didn’t photograph it. One bite and I felt pretty darn stupid.
It’s a beautiful dish. Meaty pork, with a background hint of sweetness from the apples, and the salty bite of capers… Oh, it’s so good. And leftovers only get better. Feel free to use whatever cut of pasta you like. This would work just fine with fettuccine or linguine, and probably fine with rigatoni, too. This meal is PERFECT for fall and you definitely shouldn’t miss it. Enjoy!
Source: adapted from Girl in the Kitchen by Stephanie Izard
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz. diced pancetta
12 oz. ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium apples, peeled and chopped
½ cup dry white wine
1 (15 oz.) can stewed or whole tomatoes, with juices
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbs tomato paste
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb. fresh or dried pappardelle, or other long cut pasta
2 tbs brined capers, drained
2 tbs thinly sliced basil
Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
Start a pot of boiling water for the pasta. Preheat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the olive oil, then add the pancetta. Cook until browned and the fat has mostly rendered. Add the pork and cook, breaking it up with your spoon, until no traces of pink remain. Now add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and apples. Cook one minute.
Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer until the wine is reduced by three quarters.
Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Stir to combine, then hit the pan with your potato masher to crush the tomatoes and apples. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it go for about 15 minutes, until thickened and more uniform. If after 15 minutes it has not thickened to your liking, simply turn up the heat and let it go until it is. Don’t forget to stir occasionally during this time, as that will prevent the sauce from scorching on the bottom of the skillet. Season the sauce lightly with salt and generously with black pepper.
Meanwhile, generously salt the pasta water once it reaches a boil, drop in your pasta and cook according to package directions.
Drain the pasta and add it to the simmering sauce. Lower the heat, then add the capers and basil. Combine everything in the pot, then taste for seasoning. Adjust as necessary.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.