This harmonious combination of ragù ingredients adds depth to slow-cooked pork.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1½ tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2.2 kg pork shoulder on the bone
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
- 3 x 400 g cans crushed tomatoes
- 375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 600 g mafalda (see Note) or other pasta
- shaved pecorino and basil leaves, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time overnight
Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and fennel seeds and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until onion has softened. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
Heat remaining 30 ml oil in a large casserole pan over medium–high heat. Season pork, then add to pan and cook, turning, for 8 minutes or until browned all over. Reduce heat to medium, then add onion mixture, rosemary, nutmeg, white wine, tomatoes and chicken stock – liquid should come about two-thirds up side of pan, so add a little more stock, if necessary – and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 2½ hours or until meat is tender and falling apart. Allow to cool completely in cooking liquid. Transfer pork and cooking liquid to a large bowl and refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to develop.
Remove pork from bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Using your hands, remove meat from bone and shred, discarding bone. Place shredded meat, reserved cooking liquid and balsamic vinegar in a large saucepan over low heat and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well, then add to meat mixture in pan, tossing to combine. Divide pork ragù among 6 plates, scatter over shaved pecorino and basil leaves, season and serve immediately.
• Mafalda is a wide, flat noodle with a ruffled edge. It is available from delis, greengrocers and specialist food shops.
Photography Chris Chen