Smoky Pork Pappardelle
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
- One 2-pound piece of boneless pork shoulder
- Smoked sea salt
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound pappardelle
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Season the pork with 1 1/2 tablespoons of smoked salt. In a medium, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the pork and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned on all sides, 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
- Add the apple, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and thyme to the casserole and cook over moderate heat until beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it deepens in color, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the chicken stock, vinegar and honey and bring to a simmer. Add the pork, cover and transfer the casserole to the oven. Braise the pork for about 3 hours, turning once halfway through, until very tender.
- Transfer the pork to a plate. Strain the sauce into a large bowl, gently pressing on the solids. Pour the sauce back into the pot. Using 2 forks, shred the pork; discard any large pieces of fat. Transfer the shredded pork to the sauce and stir in the mascarpone. Season the sauce with smoked salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pappardelle until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to the casserole with the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the parsley over moderate heat until well coated, about 1 minute. Transfer the pasta to warm bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with smoked salt and serve.
Craft's smoky-sweet pappardelle will pair well with a red that has enough rich fruit not to be overwhelmed by the dish's luxurious flavors. Southern Italy seems to specialize in reds of that nature, especially the flat, warm vineyards of Puglia and its primary grape variety, Negroamaro.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.