Penne with accidental pork sauce


How I made a mistake take really good

“What I would do now,” my chef buddy said, “is take those ribs out of the pot, cook the sauce down, and serve it with tagliatelle.” They were baby back ribs, braised long enough to get soft, the meat falling off the bone. We did what he said. It was the right thing to do.

Later I thought, of course. Some years back I had tagliatelle in a rabbit sauce in Siena. Same idea. Long cook the rabbit alla cacciatore, extract the pieces, use the sauce with a pasta for primo piatto. Then serve the rabbit as secondo. Continue reading “Penne with accidental pork sauce”

I’ll Have the Ribs


How to make pork ribs, an inexpensive meat, taste like a million bucks

It was the lard that made us swoon.

My wife and I were having dinner at a restaurant in Reggio, Italy, one night. At the outset of a long meal, the server brought out affetatto (assorted sliced meats) and we were very much in heaven. Prosciuitto, mortadella, various salami–then came lard-thinly sliced, shimmering, buttery strips of lard that we rolled onto breadsticks.

I don’t know about other people, but we swoon outloud. The server, obviously pleased, to us, “You have to understand, for us, the pig is sacred.” Continue reading “I’ll Have the Ribs”