Make your weeknight meals stress-free with this easy, and delicious Italian favorite from Week in a Day.
Suggested side: Serve the ragu over 1 pound pappardelle pasta cooked al dente, or 1 cup quick-cooking polenta, cooked according to package directions. SERVES 4
3 tablespoons EVOO
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry white or medium-bodied red wine
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 to 1 pound cooked shredded pork shoulder
Pinch of ground cloves
2/3 cup milk
Shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, or, for more tang, grated Pecorino Romano cheese
A handful of finely chopped parsley leaves
Heat a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO (3 turns of the pan), then the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Stir in the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook for another minute. Stir in the stock and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the pork and cloves. When the sauce returns to a simmer, add the milk and reduce the heat to low to thicken the sauce a bit.
[Make-ahead: Let the sauce cool and refrigerate.]
[Night of: Return the sauce to room temp, then reheat over medium-low heat. Add a splash of stock or water to thin it if
Let the sauce mellow while you cook the pasta or polenta.
Remove the bay leaf before serving the sauce tossed with pasta ribbons or atop bowls of creamy polenta. Garnish with lots of cheese and parsley.