Ribs & Rigatoni

Ribs & Rigatoni

One of my favorite chefs of all time is Lidia Bastianich. I’ve met her son Joe Bastianich and their mutual business partner Mario Batali.  Nearly all of her recipes I try become favorites and keepers to put into the rotation of my cooking.  This one however, I was hesitant about.  Like chicken and waffles, while individually they might be great, but together it just does not sound like something that would taste all that good.  You have to try it to see.

This one is not bad.  It is really just a variation of the “Sunday Gravy” with meat sauce, braciole, sausage, meatballs, etc.  The only thing is, it is baby back ribs on the bone.  It is not bad, but I am not sure I will revisit this one.

What I do love however, is the unlikely sauce it is in. I would never think to put hot cherry peppers in any red sauce.  I always think it is for a pan seared chicken or veal dish.  Here is my variation of the recipe:

  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon diced hot cherry peppers from a jar (seeds and stems removed first)
  • 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs
  • White wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat the olive oil and add the crushed garlic cloves and diced shallots. Once they become fragrant add the ribs in 2-piece sections and sear them on both sides.  Add a half cup of dry white wine like Pinot Grigio to deglaze the pot and allow the alcohol to burn off for a few minutes.  Add in the chopped cherry peppers, a piece of crushed red pepper flakes and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add in your can of tomatoes, half a can of cold water, and add 1 bay leaf.  The ribs should be covered by the sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least 2 hours.  The meat should be very tender but not falling off the bone. Once the ribs are at the desired tenderness, remove from the heat, let them rest and start cooking your pasta.  Combine the sauce with the pasta and serve with ribs on top.  Enjoy!




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