“Sugo” means sauce. Cooking an entire pork shoulder on the smoker means a lot of leftover pulled pork. Combining the two and adding veggies and delicate, ear-shaped pasta seemed like a pretty good idea. So we adapted this recipe and were delighted by the resulting dish that is reminiscent of bolognese, but with different texture and more smoky barbeque flavor. We also appreciated how easy it was to make — especially using leftover pulled pork (although the original recipe includes instructions for roasting the pork if you don’t have any leftovers) — with basic ingredients: onion, celery, carrot, garlic, dried oregano, tomato paste, white wine, chicken broth, cannellini beans, cider vinegar, a bay leaf and orecchiette pasta (you could use other types of pasta, but the little orecchiette cups soak up the sauce really well.) As delicious as pulled pork is on its own, we really liked the flavor and texture that the shredded pork brought to this unique pasta dish.
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil in a deep saucepan, add the onion, carrot, celery and a dash of salt and cook until the veggies soften — about 8-10 minutes.
Add the oregano and garlic to the veggies and cook until fragrant — about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the pork, beans, cider vinegar and bay leaf and bring it all to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer the sugo, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the liquid level and add more chicken broth if the sauce gets too dry.
While the sugo simmers, boil the orecchiette according to the package directions. Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid to add to the finished sugo if needed.
Drain the pasta and toss it with a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
Place the pasta in low bowls, spoon the sugo over top and serve. In addition to pork, you could make this sugo with leftover brisket. The key is using already-tender shredded meat that will practically melt in your mouth after simmering in the broth with veggies and beans. Sugo = so good!
Orecchiette w/ Pulled-Pork Sugo (w/ leftover pulled pork)
- 2 cups leftover pulled pork
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth (plus more as needed)
- ½ of a (15.5 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 ½ teaspoon cider vinegar
- bay leaf
- ½ pound orecchiette
- glug of olive oil
- sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
- Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat, add the onion, carrot, celery and a dash of salt and cook until the vegetables soften — about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant — about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the wine and chicken broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pork, beans, vinegar and bay leaf and bring the sugo to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Add more chicken broth as needed if the sugo gets too dry.
- While the sugo simmers, cook the orecchiette according to package directions. Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid to add to the sugo as needed. Toss the orecchiette with olive oil and Parmesan, place the pasta in serving bowls, spoon the sugo over top and serve.