Baked Rigatoni with Milk-Braised Pork, Ricotta and Lemon

At Pasquale Jones in Manhattan, chefs Ryan Hardy and Tim Caspare team up to make dishes like this sumptuous baked pasta. Key to it is the tender milk-braised pork and its cooking liquid, which is pureed to form the sauce for the rigatoni. They pair this rich pasta with 2013 Circa Saint-Joseph from J.L. Chave Selctions.

Slideshow: More Pasta Recipes

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Related Video

More Videos
How to Make Fresh Grated Pasta


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 quarts whole milk  
  • 6 rosemary sprigs, plus chopped rosemary for garnish
  • 1 bay leaf  
  • Five 3-inch strips of lemon zest
  • 1 pound rigatoni  
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta cheese (1 pound)
  • Freshly grated pecorino cheese, preferably Pecorino di Fossa  

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Rub the pork all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 8 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine; cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add the milk, rosemary sprigs, bay leaf and lemon zest to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Add the pork and braise in the oven for about 3 hours, until the meat is very tender. Let the pork cool in the casserole to room temperature.

  3. Transfer the pork to a work surface and cut in half. Coarsely chop 1 piece; reserve the remaining pork for another use. Working in 2 batches, puree the cooking liquid in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing down on the solids.

  4. Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly grease a 3½- to 4-quart baking dish. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until very al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the chopped pork and 3 cups of the strained cooking liquid, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish and dollop the ricotta on top. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until golden on top. Garnish with pepper and chopped rosemary. Serve with grated pecorino.

Make Ahead

The braised pork can be refrigerated in its cooking liquid for 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published October 2016

1085564 recipes/baked-rigatoni-milk-braised-pork-ricotta-and-lemon 2016-09-12T18:15:46+00:00 Ryan Hardy october-2016 recipes,baked-rigatoni-milk-braised-pork-ricotta-and-lemon 1085564

Aggregate Rating value: 3

Review Count: 4

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: olent2

Review Body: Agree with @lemonberry.  PROBLEMATIC recipe--and missing details--like, what is the world is the cooking liquid of milk after it has cooked and separated the curds and the whey. --?!--this Little Miss Muffet was perplexed--is this NORMAL?  do I still puree this all?    UGH!  if a recipe is not reproducible, do not print it.  As far as flavor, I felt is was (as in my rating), just "Ok"--I was expecting intense flavor, but the final dish fell short.  (The pork on the other hand was quite tasty).  Again, Ryan Hardy, we need more accurate recipe writing. . . 

Review Rating: 2

Date Published: 2016-11-09

Author Name: chefbacchus

Review Body: Amazingly delicious, rich, satisfying comfort food. The recipe produces more liquid and pork than you need, but that means it doubles easily. I made this for a dinner party and it could have fed 12 people. I used leftover braising liquid to season other batches of pasta for a few side dishes for weeknight dinners. Not a drop went to waste in my household. Flavors here are wonderful...the pork is extremely tender, the sauce is rich, with a little citrus zing, lots of deep rosemary aroma. This instantly became a "Dad you need to make this every week" kind of recipe in my house. Any white wine with reasonable acidity and brightness will work with this dish, though I recommend seeking out a Marsanne/Roussanne blend like the one they recommend. Avoid anything rich and want the wine to cut through the richness of the food, not pile on.

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2016-11-11

Author Name: Kristin Watson Heintz

Review Body: Oh and for the other posts: No don't cover it in the oven. Yes you blend the curds with the liquid, it's supposed to look like that. It turns into a silky sauce. And it's not wasteful if you freeze that lovely sauce with the other piece of pork. 

Date Published: 2017-01-12

Author Name: Kristin Watson Heintz

Review Body: This recipe has a lot of promise. I make porc au lait several times a year so I was interested to try this take on it. The sauce is flavorful and silky after blending but it can't quite carry that flavor as well once added to the shredded pork and pasta. I'll make it again but next time I'll simmer the entire batch of sauce and let it reduce to the 3-4 cups needed rather than using 3 cups and saving the rest with the other pork. I think a reduced sauce would work beautifully. I also might add parmesan and some herbs to the ricotta for more flavor. 

Review Rating: 3

Date Published: 2017-01-12

Author Name: ShyChef

Review Body: Great recipe and how awesome to have enough to freeze for a quick weeknight meal!  I added sautéed mushrooms to the leftovers - wow, took it to another level :-)

Date Published: 2017-01-05

Author Name: Jmichelle

Review Body: Do you cover it in the oven?

Date Published: 2016-12-29

Author Name: Gustavo Woltmann

Review Body: Tried this and i can say this is one of the most delicious ways to make pasta

Date Published: 2017-01-29

Author Name: lemonberry

Review Body: This recipe is...problematic. First, it's wasteful: you end up with 2 lbs of "extra" cooked pork and 9 cups of braising liquid to pour down the sink. Second, the flavor profile is like tuna casserole. I don't mind spending all day on a recipe, but it needs to be worth it. And third, the recipe isn't detailed enough: you need to cover the pot before braising and season the braising liquid. Maybe this recipe works in the restaurant setting but it's not practical for a home cook.

Review Rating: 2

Date Published: 2016-11-02