Slow roasting pork in the oven yields the most succulent piece of meat that becomes super versatile to make into family-style dinners. During the weekend when you have a bit more time, especially now that school has started for many households, simply popping a roast into the oven and cooking it low and slow, along with some sweet peppers, creates a fork-tender meat that can be tossed with your favorite pasta.
Cavatappi means corkscrew in Italian, and I find that is really clings to any sauce or protein when tossed together. The pork and peppers create their own sauce after being cooked down for several hours, making this home-style cooking so simple, and just as tasty as your grandma used to make it.
The pork shreds into delicate melt-in-your-mouth chunks and spoons over pasta with ease. I added dollops of ricotta to give a creamy balance to the dish, offsetting the sweetness of the peppers and richness of the pork. Fresh basil or any soft herbs offer another note of fragrance that this recipe appreciates.
3 pound bone-in pork shoulder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups whole mini sweet peppers or 3 large peppers cut into chunks
1 white onion, sliced
2/3 cup tomato sauce
1 pound cavatappi or any cut pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
fresh basil or soft herbs
oil for cooking
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together onion powder, paprika, salt, cumin, and cayenne. Rub mixture into pork on all sides.
- In a Dutch oven or large pot with fitted lid, add 1 tablespoon oil and place over medium-high heat. After 2 minutes, add pork shoulder and sear on all sides, about 10 minutes in total.
- Remove pork and set aside. Drain any excess oil from pot. Add onion and peppers and stir. Cook for 4 minutes until slightly softened. Add tomato sauce and 1/2 cup warm water, stir. Place pork on top of peppers mixture and place lid on top. Cook for 3 hours in oven.
- Remove lid and shred pork in pot with two forks, removing any noticeable fat from pot. Boil pasta for 9 minutes, drain. Add pasta to a serving bowl, along with 1 tablespoon butter, toss. Spoon pork, peppers and sauce over top. Toss with spoon to coat pasta.
- Dollop ricotta on top and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Enjoy!