Sandra Lee’s Pork Ragu

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 (4-pound) bone-in pork butt shoulder roast
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (16-ounce) package penne
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, for garnish

Directions

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper and brown it on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. While the pork is browning, add the celery, carrots, and onion to the bowl of a slow cooker. Put the pork on top of the vegetables and add the tomatoes and garlic. Place into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the pork to a cutting board or sheet pan. Pour the vegetables and liquid from the slow cooker bowl into a saute pan over medium heat, and mash with a fork. Add the tomato paste to the pan sauce and stir to incorporate. Shred the pork, add it to the vegetables, and let this simmer, uncovered, while you cook the pasta (save 2 cups of the ragu for the Round 2 Recipe Lasagna Roll Ups).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne, stir, and cover the pot. When it returns to a boil, remove the cover and stir it again. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes. (Save 1 cup of pasta for the Online Round 2 Recipe Savory Noodle Pie.) Put the pasta into a serving platter, and pour the ragu over top. Serve immediately, garnished with basil leaves and Parmesan.

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I don’t know what to think about this recipe. I really liked the sauce, but not so much a fan of the pork. It was good and everything, but this is a crock pot recipe. Too me, crock pot recipes shouldn’t have to require two more pans to help make the dish. I don’t mind one to boil the noodles. Maybe the next time I might make this, I’ll take the pork out of the crock pot and puree the sauce together in a crock pot during the middle of the cooking process. That way, you won’t dirty as many dishes.

I also got to use my Emersion hand blender for the first time tonight. Man, that is one awesome kitchen utensil tool. It’s great for blending soups  together in a pot and not have to transfer the sauce over to a blender! Another kitchen tool I got today was a mandolin. I’ve been wanting one of those for awhile now. Going to try making evenly cut french fries with that sometime.

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