While Gren may adore this particular season (at least until his little feet get cold), I do not. Some days I just want to wrap myself up in as many blankets as I own (which is quite a few) and count down the days until spring. But I can’t, and this is why people invented comfort food.
This particular recipe comes from a recent issue of Real Simple magazine, and it does the trick. The Pie and I have a resolution to use our slow cooker more (because it’s AWESOME), and it was really nice to come home the other day to a house that smelled like awesome had been slow-cooking in it for hours and hours. And the preparation takes no time at all. I did ours the afternoon before, which was a weekend, and put it in the fridge overnight. Then before I left for work the next morning I popped the crock on the pot and turned it on and blamo kablam it was done.
So let’s get around to that preparation, shall we?
Start by scrubbing and chopping up a large carrot. I ended up using two because I wasn’t sure if mine qualified as large or not. Do the same with a medium onion and 2 cloves of garlic (I may have used the whole head, but I really like garlic and this head was pretty old).
For spices, you’re going to need about 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and about 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. But feel free to add more or less if you choose.
You also need a large (14oz) can of diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato paste. The recipe calls for just 2 tablespoons of the paste, but that’s like a third of the can and I would just have to figure out what to do with the rest of it so I used the whole can.
Chuck all your vegetables and spices and canned goods in a 4-6 quart slow cooker (for scale, this one is 6 quarts).
And you need a hunk of pork shoulder or pork butt (haha, butt), about 1 1/2 lb.
Trim off the larger hunks of fat and cut the shoulder/butt in half.
Pop that in the slow cooker as well and give everything a stir to coat it in tomato juice (the acids in the tomatoes will help to tenderize that sucker).
Cover it and let it cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or low for 7 to 8 hours, until the pork is super dooper tender.
About twenty minutes before you want to eat, cook up a package of fettuccine according to the package instructions (normally fettuccine takes about 12 minutes to cook to al dente).
While that’s on the go, take two forks and shred all that lovely slow-cooked pork in the slow cooker.
Drain your pasta and plop it into the slow cooker on top of the pork stuff and give it a thorough stir.
Serve, spraying bits of tomato juice everywhere (at least, that’s what I did). Grate some parmesan on top and eat your way into ragù heaven.
The recipe says it serves four but the Pie and I think that serving size is immense, so we would say that it more accurately serves 6-8, and it’s especially good the next day when all the juices have been sucked into the fettuccine. When I brought it to work everyone became jealous of my delicious leftover lunch.