Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Braised Pork Ribs & Cherry Pepper Sugo with Rigatoni

By: The Food Hunter

This melt-in-your-mouth Italian pork ribs with pasta recipe is a classic dish enjoyed throughout Italy. Making this meal from start to finish takes between 2 and 2.5 hours; so we typically serve it on Sundays and/or special occasions. I will say though that the sauce actually tastes better made in advance so you can easily make it on the weekend and serve it during the week....Meal prep Italian style.


Braised Pork Ribs & Cherry Pepper Sugo with Rigatoni


1 rack of pork spare ribs; cut into single ribs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled
6 pickled cherry peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered
2  35 ounce cans of Italian plum tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 springs of fresh thyme
2-3 cups of hot water as needed
1 pound rigatoni
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Season ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy braising pan over medium heat. Add as many of the ribs as will fit without touching. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. 

Remove ribs and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining ribs. 

Pour off all but about 4 tbs of fat from the pan. Add the onions, garlic and cherry peppers and cook, stirring, until the onions are wilted and caramelized, about 4 minutes. 

Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, scraping the pan to loosen the brown bits stuck to the bottom. 

Tuck the spare ribs into the tomato sauce, season lightly with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to simmering and cook, turning the ribs in the sauce occasionally, until the ribs are fork tender, about 2 hours. 

Ladle some hot water into the pot from time to time as necessary to keep the ribs covered with liquid. 

When the ribs are almost tender, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil and stir in the rigatoni. Cook the pasta until done, about 10 minutes. 

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Spoon in enough of the sauce to coat the pasta generously. Remove from the heat and stir in 2/3 cup grated cheese. Transfer the pasta to a warm platter and top with the spare ribs. Serve immediately.

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