Sunday Supper: Pasta with Pork Ribs

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

Time: 11/2hours

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.


Posted in Italian, Recipes


  1. CRISPYTARTS said...

    Wow. My mouth just did a 180º!

  2. JulieAnneRhodes said...

    Top of my list of recipes to try as soon as I finish my cleanse- boring I know, but over half way there now.

  3. Kate Cone said...

    Thanks for this! My mother used to make (this is in the ’60’s) a similar dish, but served it with white rice. I never knew where she got the recipe. Then about 10 years ago, while thumbing through Naples at Table by Arthur Schwartz, I found the exact recipe my Mum used. Schwartz calls it such a peasant dish that no one would make it any more. Wrong, and wrong! It’s delicious. (His is made with tomato paste). I think Mum got the recipe from my uncle by marriage Vito Manzaro, whose parents were Italian immigrants to the U.S. in the 1940’s.

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