You know a cookbook is good when you want to try everything in it! Our good friends D & L gave us this book for Christmas last year and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve only tried a few things so far. I suppose that’s what happens when you have too many cookbooks! It’s one of the reasons that a few months back I made a vow to try cook something new each week, in hopes of reconnecting with books I was once intrigued by.
Costate di Maiale in Salsa di Pomodoro e Porcini
Pork Ribs in Tomato-Porcini Sauce
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs (trimmed of fat)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
1 large onion finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
1 rib celery finely chopped
1 cup tomato sauce (your favorite recipe or best-quality commercial)
1 cup red wine (Chianti or Zinfandel)
1 bay leaf
1 pound dried pappardelle or farfalle
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Put the porcini in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over. Set aside and soak for 20 minutes.
In large Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat. Cut the pork in half crosswise and when the oil is hot, put half the ribs in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let them brown (without turning) for about 4 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Remove the ribs to a plate and repeat with remaining ribs.
When all the ribs have browned pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium heat and add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Saute the vegetables for 5-7 minutes or until the onion has softened.
Drain the porcini in a fine mesh sieve lined with a paper towel (or cheesecloth), reserving the liquid. Chop the mushrooms and add to vegetables in the pot together with their liquid. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the tomato sauce, wine and bay leaf. Return the ribs to the pot and bring to a boil.
Cover pot and put in oven. Braise for 1-3/4 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and the sauce is reduced to a rich dark gravy. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta and drain. Discard bay leaf from the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the pasta. Top with meat. Serves 4-6.
Anything that includes pork, tomatoes, red wine and porcini, you can count me in!