Arugula is my absolute favorite item in my CSA share. It is so peppery and fabulous. I loved that this cozy comfort food dish used it as a glorious and bright topping along with lemon juice and cheese.
This dish was adapted from chef Nick Anderer of restaurant Maialino in New York, via Smitten Kitchen. I used boneless pork shoulder ribs instead of a whole pork shoulder, increased the lemon juice and cheese, added a carrot and omitted the fennel. I also cooked the meat in a slow cooker instead of the oven.
I reserved half of the cooked meat, after step 9, to freeze to enjoy at a later date. Nice.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
- 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder rib pieces (or 1 bone-in pork shoulder, about 4 pounds)
- coarse salt
- 4 T olive oil, divided
- 1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 2 large ribs celery, cut into large pieces
- 1 carrot or 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into large pieces
- 1 quart chicken stock, plus a splash or two more, if needed
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 20-ounces dry lasagna, broken into 3-inch shards
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 4 tablespoons (or more) grated or shaved parmesan or grand padano cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, if desired
- Large handful or two of arugula leaves, cleaned
- Prepare pork: Use a sharp knife to remove the thick skin from the pork, but not trimming off all the fat — leave a thin sheen. Season generously with salt and place in fridge until ready to use — overnight is ideal but a few hours will cut it as well.
- Sear the pork: Heat a deep saucepan over medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When it shimmers, gently cook the onion, celery and carrot (or fennel) until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Dry pork with a paper towel to remove some excess salt. Season with pepper. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, then add the pork and cook until browned on all sides.
- Add pork to a slow cooker. Add broth, vegetables, and thyme sprigs. Cover.
- Cook on high for 3 hours. Remove pork from braising liquid. Allow to cool enough to be able to handle.
- Using two forks, tear the meat into bite-size shreds. Place in a large bowl.
- Strain the braising liquid, pouring enough of it over the pork to barely cover it and keep it from drying out. Place back in the slow cooker insert and set to warm.
- Pour the rest of the braising liquid into the original saucepan and simmer it until it is reduced by half.
- Add pork and cooking liquid that has covered it, and warm it back to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed. (**At this point, I reserved half of the meat and braising liquid to freeze for use at another time.**)
- Add the butter and stir to emulsify. (Because I removed half of the pork, I used 1/2 of the amount of ingredients listed above for the remainder of this dish, including the butter.)
- Bring large pot of well-salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, or usually a minute shy of package directions. (I used no-cook lasagna noodles and cooked them for about 8 minutes.)
- Drain and add to the pork mixture, simmering for 1 minute.
- Add the lemon juice, half the cheese and parsley, if using.
- Ladle into wide pasta bowls with and top with arugula and remaining cheese.
Note: If saving some of the pork to use later, rewarm the defrosted pork and braising liquid to a simmer, add a splash or two of pasta cooking water if needed to loosen it, and then the butter. Add freshly cooked pasta, lemon juice and parmesan from here.
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