If after a summer of barbecue you’re looking for something else to do with those spare ribs, this pasta will do them justice (and then some). Adapted from How to Cook Everything.
Andrea’s Pasta with Pork Ribs
Makes: 4 servings
One of my favorite pasta recipes, a Neapolitan specialty—taught to me by my old friend Andrea—that can make just a few ribs go a long way.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small dried hot red chiles (optional)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 to 8 meaty spareribs, separated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes with the juice
1 pound ziti, penne, or other cut pasta
Freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (optional)
1. Put the oil in a deep, broad saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the chiles if you’re using them and the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the ribs and raise the heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until the ribs have browned and given off some of their fat, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, crush the tomatoes with a fork or your hands, and add them to the pot.
2. Turn the heat to medium or medium-low—enough to maintain a nice steady bubbling, but nothing violent. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the ribs are very tender, nearly falling off the bone, about 1 hour. Remove the chiles from the sauce if you used them. (You can make the dish ahead to this point; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Gently reheat before proceeding.)
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the pasta until tender but not mushy. Drain it and sauce it; serve a rib or two to each diner along with the pasta.Pass the grated cheese at the table if you like.