A year ago, my fiance and I were both engrossed in last minute wedding details, making sure our wedding was going to be truly an event to remember! Fast forward a year and we have settled into being newlyweds along with our Great Dane Kaiser. Throughout the year we have cooked many meals together. We hosted our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, and have celebrated small milestones with simple meals home-cooked mainly by my husband, but with his sous chef (me) by his side. I'm not just the sous chef in the family… I am also the baker!!
My husband (Saleem) is one of those home-cooks that doesn't need a recipe to make a delicious meal, but will reference cookbooks when inspiration is needed. I received a copy of the Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland from a friend as a wedding shower gift. The book has over 130 recipes that can be cooked with or for your partner, ideas for special occasion dinners, menus for gatherings, plus practical information on stocking your pantry, and buying seasonal produce.
Saleem and I decided a few Sundays back to spend the day together in the kitchen and make a few recipes from the Newlywed cookbook. He made a twist on the Pork Ragu (see recipe below) and I baked the Lazy Chef’s Seasonal Tart (come back tomorrow for that recipe). Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash with Pork Ragu (Adapted from Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland)
- 3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 ½ pounds ground pork
- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
- 1 pound cubed pork
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 medium onion
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper for seasoning
- 3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups of red or white wine
- 2 turkish bay leaves
- 2 large sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Dust the cubed pork with flour and brown in pan, take out and add the ground pork and turkey, brown evenly over medium-high heat until they release their juices and fat. Scoot the meat to the side of the pan with a wooden spoon and add the onion, celery, and carrot to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes. Add cubed pork back into the pot and stir all ingredients together. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook to brown, until all liquid has almost evaporated off the bottom of the pan. Add wine and stir together, scraping the bottom of the pan, to get the good brown bits. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, the bay leaves, rosemary, thyme. Cook to reduce the liquid slightly about 15 minutes.
Add the remaining 2 cups of broth and cook uncovered at a slow steady simmer with small bubbles popping up all over the surface of the sauce for about 1 ½ hour (at this point your house will smell amazing).
Cook Spaghetti Squash
Cut spaghetti squash in half and put in a pot of cold water along with a few pinches of sea salt. Bring to a boil. Boil squash until tender 15+ minutes. When tender drain and carefully fork out the squash noodles into a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
Put spaghetti squash in two shallow bowls, scoop pork ragu over top and add fresh ricotta cheese. Garnish with any of the herbs you used in the dish.