Saturday, December 2, 2017

Orecchiette with Pork Ragu #ItalianFWT and the Weekly Menu

I am going to be joining a new wine pairing group, this one celebrating the wines and food of Italy.  Many of the same people that I have come to know and love from my Wine Pairing Weekend and French Winophiles groups are also in this group so I am excited to get started.

I was late to the game this month when they are sharing Italian Wines for the Holidays.  I thought this was a great topic.  I did some research and found a recipe for a Primo Piatto, the first  course of an Italian Feast, usually consisting of pasta or sometimes soup.  Unfortunately, time got away from me and I never made it down into the City to get the wine to pair with this dish.

I made the dish anyway and am sharing it with you today along with my weekly menu.  I paired it with a California Chardonnay from Bogle Vineyards and it was delicious.

I'm looking forward to reading all the others posts today and joining them in twitter chat at 11 AM ET.  I hope that you will join us as well.  Look at all the tempting titles....How can you resist?

While studying up on Italian Christmas Feasts I ran across this article from Italian Wine News that described all the courses served at an Italian table during the Christmas Feast and recommended the wines they thought should be served with each course.

Wanting to make a pasta dish that we could enjoy as a meal and that would also be suitable as a Primo Piatto, the course served between the antipasto and the entree or Secondo Piatto, I went in search of a suitable recipe and found this one at  Food & Wine by Grace Parisi.  Food & Wine suggested this dish be served with a crisp, white blend from Northern Italy.

I adapted this recipe in several ways.  I substituted ground pork for the veal. I deleted the capers and rosemary.  I add carrots and celery.  I did not finish it off with the parsley or butter.  I had no parsley in the house and I didn't think the dish needed the butter as it was delicious without.

I made this dish using my instant pot, mostly because I was starting with frozen pork.  Had my pork been thawed I could have made this on the stove top in the same amount of time that it took in the instant pot.

This week is going to be spent finishing up the decorating of the house and yard.  I will work on getting my Christmas Cards ready to be sent and I hope to start on some of my shopping.  I will also be baking away as Monday is the onset of Christmas Cookies Week, so stay tuned for that.

Wednesday we will be celebrating St. Nicholas day with a dinner at Amy's.

Frank is working all week, taking care of Anchor Bay Scuba Dive Shop for our friends, Don and Mickey, who are on a trip with 26 lucky customers to Curacao.  I'm a little jealous.  Don and Mickey put on great trips.  I am very happy they are getting a much needed break from the shop.

I have the Angel Face Tuesday and Wednesday but other than that my calendar is clear leaving me plenty of time to do my Holiday planning and preparing.

Here is the Weekly Menu, followed by the recipe for Orecchiette with Pork Ragu.  See you over at the twitter chat.

Orecchiette with Pork Ragu

Pastry Wrapped Ham
Tomato Bisque

Meatless Monday
Spinach and Mushroom Frittata

Toddler Tuesday
Meatball Stroganoff

Dinner at Amy's

Leftovers before choir

Cod and Lentils

Orecchiette with Pork Ragu in an Instant Pot 

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, scraped and sliced
1 lb. ground pork
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1/2 t. dried thyme
Parmesan cheese, to taste
1 lb. Orecchiette pasta, cooked per package directions

Heat an Instant Pot to saute setting.  Add the oil, onion, garlic, celery and carrot.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.   Press the stay warm/cancel button. 

Add the pork, wine, chicken stock and thyme.  Seal the lid onto the Instant Pot, make sure the valve is shut and press the auto soup setting.  When cooking time is finished allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before carefully using quick release and removing the lid.  

Return to the saute setting and allow the sauce to cook until it begins to thicken, 10 minutes or so, while cooking the pasta.  Grate Parmesan cheese into the sauce and stir in until melted.  Pour onto the pasta, toss to coat and garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired.  Print Recipe


  1. I can almost hear the relief in your writing about not being as busy this week. And then I read how busy you really are!! Love the recipe.


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