Can-Do Cooks: Pasta Sauce with Pork

Quite honestly this might be the easiest, and most perfectly light meaty pasta sauce I have ever made.  The beauty of this recipe is that you can either cook it on the stove top or in a slow cooker.  I prefer to use my $20 slow cooker for this recipe, because I can prepare the recipe in the morning with minimal fuss, set the slow cooker temperature to low and leave it to cook for 6-8 hours.  Couldn’t be easier.

My favorite tomatoes for this recipe

This recipe was originally published in the New York Times, but I’ve made a couple of changes which, in my opinion, give a better result.

If you can find them at your grocery store, I highly recommend using the brand of crushed tomatoes shown at right.  They cost a little more, but the quality and taste is far superior to other brands, in my humble opinion. (Note: this is not a paid product placement!)

Serve this sauce with a thick spaghetti or fusilli.  Absolutely delicious!

SPAGHETTI WITH PORK LOIN SAUCE (ADAPTED)

(Original Recipe Source: New York Times)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 inch-thick slice of pancetta (about 4 ounces), finely diced

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 fresh or 1 dry bay leaf, finely chopped

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary)

1 pound (1 to 2) bone-in pork loin rib chops

1 1/4 cups dry red wine

28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes

Salt and Pepper to taste

16 ounces thick spaghetti

Grated pecorino Romano cheese, for serving.

 

1. Place a large heavy casserole or frypan over medium heat. Add olive oil and pancetta, and sauté until pancetta begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, and rosemary. Sauté until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Increase heat to medium-high. Push onion mixture aside and add pork chop(s). Brown lightly on all sides, also stirring the onions to prevent burning. Add wine and use a wooden spatula to mix everything together, scraping the pan. Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a spatula. Season with salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer until meat is almost falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.

Alternatively, after preparing recipe on stove top, place all cooked ingredients in slow cooker.  Set slow cooker temperature to low and slow cook for 6-8 hours.

3. Remove pork, cool slightly, finely shred the meat, return it to the casserole and discard the bone. Over medium-high heat reduce sauce slightly, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and keep warm.

4. While the sauce is reducing, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well. Return spaghetti to the pot and add the sauce. Stir well. Serve with grated pecorino passed separately.

Yield: About 4 cups (4 to 6 servings).

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jody Schoger
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 12:29:41

    I’m making my shopping list and hauling out the $2.50 slow cooker, a garage sale find that weighs about ten pounds but works like a charm.

    Will keep you posted. I can’t wait to eat.
    jms

    Reply

  2. Ruthie
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 05:08:51

    S ounds very tasty. I’m never very happy with my versions of that wonderful standby spaghetti sauce. This might just fit the bill.

    Reply

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