Today’s recipe is very dear to me. It was my grandmother Maria’s speciality and, as I have recently shared my guide on Palermo, I thought it would be the right time for me to share this recipe, that has been sitting in my archives for a little while now. I learnt how to make this from my grandmother and it used to be my favourite dish among all the yummy food she would prepare. She always made sure to make this Pork Ragu whenever I visited her in Palermo… I must admit that I also incorporated my aunt Stella’s pasta making skills for this post. She gifted me a “chitarra” to make troccoli years ago and I love fresh pasta with this sauce. You can find my tutorial on how to make Troccoli alla chitarra here. This is a very hearty dish and you can use the sauce for the pasta and eat the meat the next day. I personally like to mix a little bit of meat with the pasta as well… 😉 This is comfort food at its best and I highly recommend it for your next Sunday meal! Buon appetito!
Troccoli with Nonna’s Pork Ragu
Troccoli with Nonna’s Pork Ragu - a slightly spiced meat sauce for pasta.
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 tsp chilly flakes
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 piece Pecorino Romano crust cleaned
- 8 pork rashers
- 8 pork rinds from the rashers
- 1 small rack of pork ribs cut in pieces
- 250 gms – 9 oz. Sicilian pork sausage with fennel
- 280 gms – 10 oz. tomato paste
- 150 gms – 5 oz. tomato purée
- 1 tbsp estratto/triple tomato concentrate or more tomato paste
- Salt to taste
- 500 gms – 1 lb. Troccoli
- More Pecorino Romano finely grated to serve
In a big pot, sauté the chopped onion and garlic, the chilly flakes and the cleaned Pecorino Romano crust in the extra virgin olive oil. Mix constantly, so the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the onion is soft, add the meat and brown it.
Add the tomato paste, the tomato purée and estratto and mix well. Add salt to taste and enough water to cover the meat. Cover the pot with a lid and cook, on a slow fire, for 1 and a half hours, or until the sauce thickens and the meat falls off the bone. Keep aside.
In the meantime, cook the Troccoli following the steps on “How to cook pasta al dente”. Only in this case you will not have a pre-set cooking time. So, the best solution is to taste it! Remember, it does have to remain firm and it won’t take long at all.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and serve it with the ragu’ (and some meat). Mix well.
Serve hot with some Pecorino Romano on the top.