Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pork-Apple Ragu with Pappardelle

Photo by Dan Goldberg

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in our English office at the high school, thumbing through a People magazine that someone had graciously brought from home to combat the dire effects of too much literature on the brain. I ran across this Stephanie Izard recipe and instantly decided to give it a try.

You guys probably remember Izard as the winner of Top Chef season four, the girl who somehow managed to out-Blais frontrunner, Richard Blais. Or not. Anyhoo, she now owns Chicago's Girl and the Goat, a restaurant I have yet to experience because every time I visit The Windy City, the only reservation slot open is for 11:00 PM or after. So, obviously, Izzard is doing something right.

This pasta combines a ton of ingredients that seemingly don't go together but magically do. I brought leftovers to work on Wednesday and literally couldn't control myself from complimenting its tastiness (and my ability to follow directions) out loud. Then, I immediately went into a food coma and had trouble teaching 7th hour. I blamed it on the pregnancy, but honestly, the energy ran low because of massive quantities of this tasty meal.

The only thing I might do differently next time around is to change to a pasta that will collect more of the sauce, like a shell or penne pasta. My ragu was a little thin, so it was hard to get a forkful of all flavors in one bite. 

Pork-Apple Ragu with Pappardelle

-1 teaspoon olive oil
-3/4 lb. ground pork
-2 strips bacon, chopped
-1/2 cup onion, diced
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-2 Honeycrisp apples, cut into 1/4 inch slices
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1 15 oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 lb. dried pappardelle or fettuccine
-2 tablespoons capers
-2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until it browns, 5 to 7 minutes, breaking into smaller pieces.

2. In a large saucepan, lightly brown bacon. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add apples and wine and simmer 4 minutes, or until wine is almost evaporated.

3. Add tomatoes, broth, and pork. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, until sauce thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, prepare pappardelle according to package directions. Drain.

5. Add capers and basil to sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta.


R. Matthew said...

Next time you want to go to Girl & the Goat, show up when the open (I believe 5 PM) and sit at the bar. No wait, no reservation necessary—at least on the weekday when we went.

Anonymous said...

Problem with that is that I live in St. Louis. :)

R. Matthew said...

I do too, but I didn't let that stop me. I'm just saying, next time, you'll know how to play it.