Pappardelle with Pork Ragu

I’m always looking for new podcasts to entertain myself on my hour-long commutes to and from work. Last week, I was searching topics that had to do with food or something like that, and found “The Italian American Podcast.” I listened to episode #12, in which Lidia Bastianich was being interviewed, and I was hooked. All that talk on Italian food and I was done. That was it… I had to make something with pasta. I was hooked on the podcast too. I downloaded every episode. And then I hunted down a ragu recipe…

Back to the pasta. If you’re Italian, you are throwing your hands into the air right now calling me all shades of stupid because the pasta in my photos is not in fact, pappardelle, but fettuccine. Why?  Because I didn’t have any pappardelle pasta on hand.  Actual pappardelle is 2-3 centimeters wide – fettuccine is not. Ask any Italian Grandmother. But “pappardelle” was what my recipe called for, and it sounded way cooler than saying “fettuccini with pork ragu” because everyone’s already heard of fettuccine anyway. So there.

So you see, pasta can sometimes be complicated. There’s like a gazillion shapes, sizes and names. Don’t even ask me to remember the names…

While I was making this recipe, or should I say “butchering” the recipe because I always change things, I started wondering why I shouldn’t just eat pasta every night for dinner. After all, it’s kinda quick to make and tastes great. What more could you want?  Wait. No. I wouldn’t want my butt to get bigger. Would it??? I can’t have that…

According to nutritionists, pasta does not make your butt bigger. But four pounds of cheese on a three-pound serving of pasta might. Moderation is the key. Apparently a plate of pasta in Italy does not look anything like a plate of pasta in America. Two ounces of dry pasta makes a single serving of cooked pasta… For real.

Speaking of butchering, the original recipe used lamb in the ragu (and didn’t contain mushrooms). And since I raise pigs and couldn’t be bothered with running over to the neighbor’s to steal one of their lambs, well, pork it was.

Will I make this recipe again? You bet. It was pretty good for a Sunday-dinner kind of thing. I did leave out the mint and the ricotta.  Yuck – mint? Not for me… I would also make other changes. Next time I’ll get out my ruler and measure out some homemade Pappardelle to accompany the ragu. All  you Italians can relax now… ~A

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