So this is a dish that was inspired by my usual Saturday trip to go see my buddy, Tom, at Lazzaroli Pasta Shop. I usually go to get some of his fresh mozzarella cheese (which you can only get on Saturdays). But unfortunately on this Saturday, I got there late and I forgot to call. So….there was no cheese for me. I was sad. BUT THEN, I saw the homemade rigatoni. I haven’t cooked rigatoni in a while. Tom says it’s the best fresh pasta he makes. (By homemade, I mean Tom made it and I took it home!) In addition, Tandy Wilson, a James Beard Semifinalist (go vote for him here!), serves this rigatoni at City House with an oxtail ragu. Now, my mind was really churning. Rigatoni….meat ragu….who needs cheese! So, I put a smile on my face, got the rigatoni, fetched a bottle of wine, and went straight home to cook.
Now, I didn’t really have any fresh meat to make a ragu with. But, I did have some big chunks of pork tenderloin left from Monday’s recipe. It would be great with some pork butt or pork belly (you do remember my obsession with pork belly?) After a glass of wine it hit me. I’d caramelize some onions + garlic, make a thick tomato sauce, add some of my cooked pork and braise it for an hour or so until it just fell apart. My mouth started watering at the idea of this meal. (It’s actually watering now too as I’m reliving the memory!) Since the braise is nice and rich, I added some orange zest, parmigiano, and parsley to add freshness and acidity to the dish.
And you see that plate in the picture? Yeah…I ate 3 portions of that. It was THAT good.
Get some of this pasta, a big glass of red, and call it a night. The world is a wonderful place.