Pork…is another love it or hate it thing. For many pork is considered incredibly unhealthy. I understand wholeheartedly but when pork is cooked right, it is sensational.
Growing up, I was not a fan of pork but living in Andalusia pork is the most common source of meat. As a child, I went through funny stages of being a vegetarian, a pescetarian to eating everything. I was a picky eater, honestly, I still am today, basically, I don’t eat food I don’t like although I do have the occasional guilty pleasure of fish finger sandwiches with chilli sauce.
For me, the best way to encourage picky eaters to appreciate the deliciousness of pork is to cook it slowly with simple, flavoursome ingredients and serve it with pasta and soft mozzarella. If you haven’t cooked with cava before it’s super fun, full of effervescence and perfect with pasta.
I used Casarecce pasta because it is best used when served with a slow-cooked chunky tomato sauce with Mediterranean vegetables. This pasta dish deserves respect because I was honestly speechless and definitely umming and oohing. Delicious chunks of pork with as much fresh basil and cava as the sauce can take, with perfectly cooked pasta and magic you have yourself a comforting bowl of deliciousness meatiness.
500 grams peeled plum tomatoes, minced
200 grams lean cuts of pork, cut into bite-size pieces
200 grams Casarecce pasta
1 small courgette, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon tomato purée
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of fresh basil, leaves torn
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large spring onion, roughly sliced
Generous amount of olive oil
In a large, heavy-based pan, heat a generous amount of olive oil over medium heat.
Once hot, add in the cloves, bay leaf, salt, pepper and garlic. Warm through for a minute, stirring constantly.
Add in the spring onions and basil, allow to cook for about 15 minutes until soft and translucent.
Reduce the heat and add in the minced tomatoes, cava, sugar and chilli flakes. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.
Finally, add in the pork and courgette and slowly cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.
After an hour, the sauce should have reduced by half and thickened with a glossy texture. Continue to slowly cook.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water (according to the packet instructions) stirring occasionally.
Once cooked, rinse in cold water and add to the pork ragu and turn off the heat. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Serve the pasta with torn basil leaves and mozzarella and enjoy curling up on the sofa.