Baked Orecchiette With Pork Sugo

READY IN: 3hrs 55mins




  • Season the pork with salt and pepper.
  • In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering.
  • Add the pork in a single layer and cook over moderately high heat until the pieces are golden brown all over, about 12 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until softened and browned in spots, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the red wine and thyme sprigs and cook over high heat until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat until the pork is very tender, about 2 hours.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork and vegetables to a food processor; discard the thyme sprigs.
  • Pulse just until the pork is shredded.
  • Scrape the shredded pork and vegetables back into the casserole.
  • Stir in the chopped parsley, oregano and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until it is still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes; drain well.
  • Add the orecchiette to the casserole and toss with the pork sauce.
  • Scrape the pasta into a very large baking dish and sprinkle all over with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Bake the casserole in the upper third of the oven for about 35 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.
  • Let the baked pasta stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  • *The pork sugo can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; reheat before tossing with the orecchiette.
  • **Serve with a Green salad and Rich, black-fruited Amarone Classico: 2004 Masi Costasera.