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Pasta with Pork Ragu

2013 February 17
by admin

I’m not really a flower person.  They don’t last.  In theory, they are probably bad for the environment (delivering flowers??  Growing things and killing them while only benefiting from their aesthetics??  I don’t know).  They are expensive.


I did gasp in delight, however, when I came home from work on Valentine’s Day to see a beautiful bouquet of red roses on my kitchen island.  Then I gasped even bigger when I saw a 2nd set of flowers on our kitchen table.  The Omnivore, who was eaves dropping from the other room, politely informed me that the 2nd bouquet actually did not belong to me, but to our very good friend who had recently broken up with her boyfriend.  In any case, his gesture was super sweet.


I then walked into the bedroom to change into something more comfortable (ie ragged jeans, a sweatshirt, and boots for horse chores) and noticed that my entire closet was torn apart.  There were stacks of hangers weighted with clothes everywhere and boxes of shoes strewn about.  The closet door stood wide open and the closet was completely empty.

And I jumped up and down with happiness.  My love language is definitely ‘acts of service’ and although the husband destroyed the bedroom and the closet in the process of hanging a brand new closet rod for me, it was the BEST gift ever.


As a result of his gifts, I immediately went to the kitchen and made him a bundt cake.

This meal was one we enjoyed the weekend prior to Valentine’s Day and I declared it our Valentine’s Dinner.  Delicious pork ragu with homemade pasta, if anything, is worthy of a special occasion.  It is rich and different from the norm.  Just don’t wait until next Valentine’s to make it.  Make it now.

Braised Pork Ragu (adapted from Dinner a Love Story)


  • 1 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small pat butter
  • 1 large (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • Freshly grated Parmesean (for serving)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Liberally salt and pepper the pork.
  3. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts.
  4. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all. Remove from pan.
  5. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add pork roast, tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.)
  6. Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir.
  7. Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions for serving.


  • Kate

    I got roses on Valentine’s Day either – because my husband realized in almost 13 years together he doesn’t think he’s ever given me red roses.

  • Wendy

    Flowers are always special but even more special when you don’t expect them :) This looks really delicious! Do you think I could make it with beef rather than pork?

    • Branny


  • Hezzi-D

    That was super sweet of him to get flowers for your friend as well. This dish looks great and I love that you served it with broccoli-I wouldn’t have thought to do that but it looks wonderful.

    • Branny

      Got to get the veggies in!

  • Laura

    Oh Branny – I love pork in a pasta sauce. And what lovely flowers. Nothing freshens or perks up a room like a bouquet of flowers. What a great photo too!