I love pasta any time of the year, but during the winter is when I truly find comfort in a big plate of spaghetti. Living in downtown Calgary, I'm lucky enough to be within walking distance to a mix of grocery stores and meat shops that boast a great selection of cuts of pork as well as cured meats. The other day when I decided to suit up and trek through the snow in subzero temperatures for some ingredients (that whole "let's try and be more active in January" thing, you know?) to make a simple. but make-you-feel-cozy ragu.
This recipe is great for a couple reasons. Firstly, it uses a good chunk of porchetta in an interesting way (i.e. not just shoved between slices of bread with salsa verde) and it also requires some red wine. A splash for the pan, a splash for me. That's how you guys cook too, right? Right! Anyway, this recipe makes a decent amount of ragu, so make sure to invite some friends over for dinner!
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 yellow onions (halved and thinly sliced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
750 grams ground pork
2 1/4" slices porchetta (thinly sliced)
1 cup red wine
1 cup pork broth
4 cups canned diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
salt and pepper (to taste)
8 cups cooked spaghetti
Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add butter and once melted add the ground pork and let cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients to the pot with the exception of the spaghetti.
Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat, cover and let cook for 45 minutes.
Uncover and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let sauce thicken slightly.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm on the stove until ready to serve.
To serve, portion out spaghetti into 6 large bowls and top generously with ragu. Eat and feel immediate comfort.
(note: garlic bread on the side for soaking up any leftover sauce is highly recommended!)
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 80 Minutes
Total Time: 85 Minutes