My Recipe Box

Calabrese Pork Ragù with Fennel


Serves eight.

Yields 8 cups of sauce, enough for about 1 lb. pasta.

Pancetta, cured Italian bacon, is becoming available at many supermarkets; you’ll also find it at specialty stores and in Italian markets.

  • 3 lb. pork butt or shoulder (from about a 7 lb. bone-in shoulder) or 3 lb. packaged ground pork
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 oz. pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. whole fennel seeds, crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups canned puréed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. pasta, cooked al dente
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

If using pork shoulder or butt, cut off any skin and discard, and then cut the meat off the bone into chunks about 1 inch or so. In a food processor, pulse the pork in batches, about five times for a few seconds each time; set aside.

Calabrese Pork Ragu with Fennel

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed fennel seeds and stir for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; return the pot to the stove.

Increase the heat to medium high. In the same pot, add just enough of the ground pork to make one layer. If using packaged ground meat, don’t crumble it; instead, break it into pieces (about 1 inch) to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat all over, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the first batch of meat to the bowl and sear the remaining pork in batches, if necessary; add more olive oil as needed.

Return all the seared pork and the onion mixture to the pot. Add the sugar, oregano, bay leaf, red pepper flackes, 2 tsp. salt, and 1-1/2 tsp. pepper, and stir to combine. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pot, stirring up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce by at least half. Add the tomato purée and tomato paste and bring the sauce to a boil (the mixture will be thick).

Add 1/2 cup water, reduce the heat, and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. As it cooks, juices will evaporate; periodically add water 1/2 cup at a time, letting it reduce after each addition, adding 1-1/2 to 2 cups total. After 1-1/2 hours, the meat should be tender and the flavors melded. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Immediately before serving, whisk butter into the sauce and toss with the pasta. Serve sprinkled with the Parmigiano, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips

The finished sauce (without the butter or Parmigiano) can keep for a week, covered in the refrigerator, and it can also be frozen for up to a month. Defrost frozen ragù overnight in the refrigerator and then slowly bring it to a simmer, adding a little water or broth to prevent scorching.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : with 1/2 Tbs. butter, Calories (kcal): 600, Fat (kcal): 20, Fat Calories (g): 180, Saturated Fat (g): 8, Protein (g): 45, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9, Carbohydrates (mg): 57, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2, Sodium (g): 960, Cholesterol (g): 120, Fiber (g): 4,

Photo: Martha Holmberg

It's a keeper. Almost panicked because I can't find the recipe. Even my Tuscano in-laws love this Calabrese recipe. It's a boxer day tradition every year in my house, plus a go-to for good sized groups. One of the few things where I followed the recipe the first time and still do.

I have served this three times and each time the guests have loved it. Very rich, hearty pasta.

Great flavor. Sort of a change from other ragu sauces like bolognese. I went a step further and sauteed fresh fennel diced with the onion. YUM

Amazing comfort food! I make it every time I'm in need of warm, loving food. Plus, guests are always asking for the recipe.

127703ContentMarcus Samuelsson/moveablefeast/authors/samuelsson-marcus/ Marcus Samuelsson Marcus Samuelsson (Select) us Marcus Samuelsson brought the art of Scandinavian cooking to New York long before the recent Nordic craze. As executive chef at New York’s Aquavit (from 1995 to 2010), the Ethiopian-born Swede (who graduatedMarcus SamuelssonMarcus Samuelsson(Select)usMarcus Samuelsson brought the art of Scandinavian cooking to New York long before the recent Nordic craze. As executive chef at New York’s Aquavit (from 1995 to 2010), the Ethiopian-born Swede (who graduated from the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, and apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, and France) turned an entire city on to gravlax and herring, giving Swedish cuisine a modern, luxurious turn, and receiving three stars from the New York Times in the process. In 1999, he was James Beard’s “Rising Star Chef,” and in 2003 the “Best Chef,” New York City.The awards just kept on coming, as Samuelsson branched out with Japanese restaurant Riingo. He received consecutive four-star ratings in Forbes’ annual All-Star Eateries feature, was named one of the 40 under 40 by Crain’s, and was hailed one of The Great Chefs of America by the Culinary Institute of America. And in 2009 he planned and executed the Obama administration’s first state dinner for the first family, Prime Minister Singh of India, and 400 of their guests. He has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2000, focusing his advocacy on water and sanitation issues, specifically the Tap Project.Samuelsson took uptown Manhattan by storm with his Red Rooster Harlem, a spirited neighborhood place where the menu has his renowned Swedish meatballs (with lingonberries, of course) alongside fish and grits, and jerk chicken with yucca. Downstairs, sister venue Ginny’s Supper Club brings live jazz, cocktails, and Samuelsson’s food together until the wee hours. And now he’s brought his blend of cooking and culture to Lincoln Center, with American Table Café and Bar at Alice Tully Hall, and his casual burger joints, Marc Burger to Costa Mesa, California, and Chicago. Back in his native Sweden, Samuelsson has launched American Table Brasserie and Bar, in Stockholm, Norda Bar & Grill, in Gothenburg, and Kitchen and Table, in Uppsala. Among his many TV appearances, Samuelsson is a judge on The Taste (now in its third season), was the winner on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters Season 2, as well as the winner of the second season of Chopped All-Stars. He is also the author of cookbooks Aquavit: And the New Scandinavian Cuisine (2003), The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa (2006), New American Table (2009)and the 2012 memoir Yes, Chef, which was also nominated for a James Beard Foundation award.NoneNoneCourtesy of Marcus SamuelssonStandardNoneNoneNone1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM1/9/2016 1:05:47 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AMKateSheelyMarcus Samuelsson88O10331/9/2016 01:05:47 AMArchive_Expire/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/moveablefeast/authors/samuelsson-marcus/10/30/2013 11:09:06 AMChefFree Content127115ContentPete Evans/moveablefeast/authors/evans-pete/ Pete Evans Pete Evans (Select) us Pete Evans is an award-winning Australian chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV host. Born in Melbourne and raised on Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast, Pete is not your average chef—he’s also an avid fisherman, surfer,Pete EvansPeteEvans(Select)usPete Evans is an award-winning Australian chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV host. Born in Melbourne and raised on Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast, Pete is not your average chef—he’s also an avid fisherman, surfer, cookbook author, and television personality.   Pete’s food career began at the tender age of 19 when, with brother Dave, he opened their first restaurant, The Pantry, in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Brighton in 1993. It quickly became a favorite spot and found devoted fans among city locals, celebrities, and critics alike. Since then, Pete has opened six award-winning restaurants, written seven best-selling cookbooks, including the Australian barbecue bible My Grill. He has hosted television shows in Australia for the past decade, and in 2012, his series My Kitchen Rules pulled an audience of more than 3.5 million, making it one of the most-watched shows of the year in Australia. Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking will be his first television series in the U.S.NoneNonePhoto courtesy of Pete EvansStandardNoneNoneNone1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM11/4/2013 10:50:52 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AMKateSheelyPete Evans78A103311/4/2013 10:50:52 AMArchive_Expire/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/moveablefeast/authors/evans-pete/8/9/2013 11:26:13 AMChefFree Content101664ContentJonathan Waxman/moveablefeast/authors/waxman-jonathan/ Jonathan WaxmanJonathanWaxman(Select)usThe trajectory of chef Jonathan Waxman’s career is similar to the way the New York Times described his West Coast–style restaurant Jams: “a culinary comet.” That was in 1984, and Waxman’s cooking has never failed to set off sparks. Lively and very Italian, Barbuto, Waxman’s West Village restaurant (opened in 2004), with its wood-fired oven, housemade pasta, and silky seafood, is like a profile of the chef himself. Called “the Eric Clapton of chefs” by L.A. restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, Waxman (a two-time Top Chef Masters contestant) brings the riffs of his California days with Alice Waters at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and at Michael’s in L.A. There, in the 1970s, after graduating from La Varenne cooking school in Paris, Waxman was one of the pioneers creating a new American way of cooking, with a reverence for the seasonal and for the vast resources right in our own backyard. Along the way, Esquire magazine named him one of the most influential Americans, for all that he’s contributed to the culinary world.Taking his act to the East Coast, with Jams (where Julia Child was a fan), and later with Washington Park (opened in 2002), Waxman always held fast to the new American ideal of impeccable sourcing and inventive thinking, which continues at Barbuto, and at 2014 launches Montecito (in Toronto, a co-venture with film director Ivan Reitman), Adele’s, in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood, and his upcoming New York place within 1 Hotels Central Park.Waxman has written cookbooks A Great American Cook (2007), and Italian, My Way (2011), and is also a prime player in the nonprofit Citymeals-on-Wheels fundraising events. NoneNoneCourtesy of Jonathan WaxmanStandardNoneNoneNone1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM1/28/2015 4:53:09 PM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AMRobynAitkenJonathan Waxman90A10331/28/2015 04:53:09 PMArchive_Expire/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/moveablefeast/authors/waxman-jonathan/8/11/2008 4:27:48 PMChefFree Content102Moveable Feast Widget

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