Italian Style Sweet & Sour Pork with Pappardelle


Tonight we had dinner with some very close friends who happen to be carnivores.  And red wine drinkers. Wooo Hooo!  It was the perfect opportunity to try this recipe… it’s from Mary Linhart of Catherdral City, CA. I’ve never met her, but while I was in Palm Springs last weekend I bought one of those church fundraiser cookbooks you find at checkout stands (I couldn’t resist a good cause) – and this recipe just sounded delish.

the cooked pork – yummm

I made a few adjustments, but credit goes to Mary Linhart for the inspiration. This is a good recipe to make on a Saturday afternoon… it takes a few hours and a few more pots and pans than are acceptable for a weeknight dinner!
Serves 6-8.

pork cooking in the sauce

Italian-Style Sweet & Sour Pork with Pappardelle
Recipe Type: Main
Author: A Passionate Plate
A rich, vibrant sweet & sour sauce with pork ribs and Pappardelle pasta, Italian-style – this one’s for the hungry carnivores!
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds country-style pork ribs (shoulder cut)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 or more cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 15 0z. can tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. each: whole all-spice, whole cloves, whole black pepper corns
  • 1 – 12 oz. package Pappardelle pasta
  • 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  1. Cut the ribs in half and season them with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven or a deep pot with a lid, heat the butter and oil on medium high heat. When oil is hot, add the ribs in batches (don’t over-crowd them) and brown them on both sides. Remove the ribs from the pan as you go, and set them aside in a bowl. When all of the ribs have been browned, turn the burner down to low and add the onions and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the onions and garlic are cooking, combine tomato puree, currants, salt, thyme, allspice, cloves, peppercorns and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a bowl. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of vinegar with the sugar and set aside for later.
  3. Once the onions are very soft, pour the tomato sauce mixture into the pot, add the ribs and any juice from their bowl and coat the ribs well with the sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Add a litte water if sauce appears too thick, then cover the pot and simmer until the meat is very tender – about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. While the meat is cooking, chop the flat leaf parsley and set it aside.
  4. When the meat is very tender, remove it from the sauce with a slotted spoon or tongs, discard any bones or fat, and set the meat aside while you finish the sauce. Pour the sauce through a strainer into a clean sauce pan. Return the strained sauce to the stove. Bring it back to a boil and skim off any extra fat from the sauce.
  5. When the sauce has been skimmed, stir in the vinegar-sugar mixture and then add the meat back to the sauce. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat while you prepare the pasta.
  6. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and toss with a small amount of olive oil.
  7. Dish the pasta onto plates or bowls and top with pork, sauce, chopped parsley, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a great bottle of wine, a tossed green salad, and crusty bread. I guarantee your carnivore friends will love sharing this dinner with you!


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  3. Jack Thompson says:

    Here is the press release on the cookbook for anyone who is interested:
    Contact Carol Zadel, Founder-Companions Visitation Ministry


    (Palm Desert, CA – November 16, 2011) – The Companions Visitation Ministry announces its new exciting fundraiser, a cookbook called, “SACRED Recipes from the HEART, vol. 1”.

    The cookbook is 300 pages long, stocked with over 225 amazing recipes from you, the people in the Valley. One of the recipes has been made more than 14,000 times. Many of the recipes have been passed down from generation to generation. There are recipes from local chefs, including the culinary team at the Renaissance Esmerelda, LaBrasserie, and Kitchen Kitchen. There are recipes from 2 Catholic priests (Father Lincoln and Father McGinness). And, let’s not forget the recipes from local celebrities, including Jack Jones, Lorna Luft, Collin Freeman, and our very own Congresswoman, Mary Bono Mack.

    The cookbooks cost only $20, with an extra $6 for shipping. To print out a copy of the order form, click here: Makes a great holiday gift!!!

    Please let us know if you wish to set up an interview to discuss this worthwhile program, helping some of the neediest people in our Valley.

    Who We Are: CVM began on January 1, 2010 as a way to provide companionship to senior citizens in the Valley who often times have little or no human interaction during their day. Now, CVM has over 200 volunteers who devote countless hours giving back to the generation that gave us all so much. The program has been such a success, that CVM is currently creating the template for other such organizations in communities outside of the Valley. Although the program is organized through Sacred Heart Catholic Church, anyone of any religion or without a religion is welcome to participate.

    What We Do: CVM performs numerous functions:

    1. Visitation – Volunteers provide companionship to senior citizens in assisted living communities. Whether it is a stroll outside, a game of cards, or simply providing a listening ear, such companionship is a vital resource to individuals who often have no one to talk to.

    2. Food For Soul – Those volunteers that can’t visit seniors due to their own health problems create gift baskets with baked goods for the seniors;

    3. Music For Soul – Children from Sacred Heart School will be singing holiday carols at 9 assisted living facilities during the second week of December;

    4. Style for Soul – Volunteers put on fashion shows and provide make-overs for seniors;

    5. Greeting Card Outreach – Volunteers provide greeting cards to seniors on holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

    Why CVM Does What It Does: Too many of our grandmothers and grandfathers live out their final days in loneliness. CVM provides a brief, but necessary, interruption to that loneliness, thereby enhancing the final years of seniors’ lives and leaving volunteers with an experience they will never forget.

    But Wait…There’s More!!!

    Coming Up: Mark your calendars for the celebrity cookoff at Kitchen Kitchen [74945 Hwy 111 in Indian Wells] on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 12pm to 2pm, where you will see some of these recipes put into action. All media welcome to attend – please contact Carol Zadel for more information: 760-218-7788;

  4. Mary Linhart says:

    I am flattered and humbled all at the same time that you chose one of my recipes from my church’s cookbook project. Thank you so much for purchasing the book and for bringing more visibility to the ministry for which it was created. Mangia bene!!

  5. Joy says:

    Thanks for an OUTSTANDING dinner, Mary! It’s always better when someone makes it for you…but I will save this to make, again, for Toby since he loved it so much.

  6. Margretta says:

    Wow, Mary! The site is looking fabulous! Love the photos and the food all looks great. I’m going to have to try that beet salad soon.

    • MaryMiller says:

      Thanks, Margretta! I will remake the beet salad and post the recipe. It is a beautiful presentation if you don’t shrink the beets like I did…
      I am thoroughly enjoying this process. One thing I’ve realized is how much I enjoy sharing food with friends. We should get together and cook something!

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