Ground Pork Ragù & Orecchiette Pasta with Currants & Shishito Peppers
Family Friendly

Ground Pork Ragù & Orecchiette Pasta

with Currants & Shishito Peppers

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

To add exciting contrast of flavor to this comforting pasta, you’ll cook savory pork with plump, sweet currants and briny capers in a bright sauce flavored with our warming spice blend, quatre épices (or four spices), which features white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    840 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Ground Pork Ragù & Orecchiette Pasta with Currants & Shishito Peppers
Title
  • 10 oz Ground Pork
  • 6 oz Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 2 Tbsps Dried Currants
  • 3 oz Shishito Peppers
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Quatre Épices (White Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger & Cloves)
  • 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Wash and dry the peppers; cut off and discard the stems, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling. Place the currants in a bowl; cover with 1/4 cup of hot water. Set aside to rehydrate at least 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta
2 Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the peppers
3 Cook the peppers

Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepper pieces in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the pork & make the sauce
4 Cook the pork & make the sauce

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pork, chopped garlic, capers, and quatre épices; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and the rehydrated currants (including the liquid); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the pork is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked pork and sauce, cooked peppers, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the mascarpone until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Wash and dry the peppers; cut off and discard the stems, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling. Place the currants in a bowl; cover with 1/4 cup of hot water. Set aside to rehydrate at least 10 minutes.

2 Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the pasta
Cook the peppers
3 Cook the peppers

Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepper pieces in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

4 Cook the pork & make the sauce

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pork, chopped garlic, capers, and quatre épices; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add 1/4 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and the rehydrated currants (including the liquid); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the pork is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Cook the pork & make the sauce
Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked pork and sauce, cooked peppers, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the mascarpone until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the parmesan. Enjoy!

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