Girl in the Kitchen: Pork and Apple Ragu with Parparadelle

Sorry, I just can't take a good picture lately

One thing I’m learning very quickly about our friend Miss Stephanie Izard is that she is not about the 30-minute meal.  Like most professional chefs, she loves the kitchen and gets paid to be in it all day and kind of assumes we all feel the same way.  For me, only the former is true.  But hey, the title of the book is not Girl Gets out of the Kitchen in 30 Minutes and Gets a Ton of Other Stuff Done so she is not misleading anyone.

I was absolutely thrilled, however, to find this little gem which is one of those great dishes that look and sound and taste like they took a long time but are deceptively quick.  The sauce — ground pork, bacon, apples, garlic, onion, wine, broth, and tomatoes — only requires 15 minutes of simmer time.  The prep is dicing an onion and mincing some garlic.  A few capers are thrown in in the end and I almost left them out.  I always remember what Nora Ephron said in Heartburn about being paid by the American Caper Council (or whatever) to develop recipes with capers in them.  From this experience she discovered that anything with capers tastes even better without them.  But I did add them and while I would never call the great Nora Ephron wrong exactly, I will say that perhaps she hasn’t tasted capers in this particular dish because they were perfect and added just the right little pop of briny-saltiness.  I have a new respect for capers as a result.

You can find the recipe right here, on Stephanie’s site.  In the book she recommends garnishing this dish with lots of freshly-grated Parmesan and, honestly, why wouldn’t you?

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