Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday / Pasta with Pork Cheek Ragu

Last week, the kind folks over at BK sent us home with their new Norpro pasta machine to try out. Neither David nor I had ever made pasta from scratch, but we had been talking about it forever, and decided this would be the perfect opportunity. David was also lucky enough to bring home a sweet little pig cheek from the weekly butchering class, which was just the right cut for a delicious ragu.

These days, with work and busy schedules and the general goings on, it has been hard for David and I to carve out good chunks of time to cook together. Unlike some, we're a surprisingly compatible pair in the kitchen, and always look forward to spending extended periods of time together chopping, stirring, tasting, and creating piles of dishes. It just happened that the stars aligned on Thursday and we cooked and ate and drank wine late into the evening. This meal was a D&M collaboration at its best!
Pig cheek, with scored skin, braising in red wine, tomato, and rosemary
Flour volcano with eggs
David kneading the pasta dough
Pasta sheets, post-machine, laying out to dry
After 3 hours of braising, the fat from the pig cheek had rendered and created an incredibly rich sauce. At that point we pulled out the cheek, sliced off the fat, cubed up the meat, and tossed the meat back into the dutch oven to reduce some more. Once the pasta had finished cooking (in salty water, like the sea), we added it and a cup or so of starchy pasta water to the dutch oven to thicken and round out the dish. Hands down, this was the best pasta we've ever made and a pretty seminal culinary moment in our household.


al oof said...

it's al! those noodles look great!

Anonymous said...

F-yeah. They look awesome. the ragu too!