Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Pork Ragú With Broken Lasagne #Recipe by @Leslie Karst


My “P” in the alphabet food game would have to be pork. (I could always use “T” for taters. But then I’d have to give up tomatoes. Hmmm...) It’s certainly my favorite of all the meats—so flavorful and full of yummy fat! 

This recipe is basically a braised pork shoulder, shredded and tossed with pasta and cheese. Pretty simple, and good for company, since you can have most of the work done in advance.

all plated up and ready to eat!

Pork Ragù with Broken Lasagne 

(serves at least 8)



1 med. onion

2 ribs celery

1 fennel bulb

3 T olive oil

1 4-lb. pork shoulder

2-3 cups chicken stock 

2 sprigs thyme

4 T butter

2 lbs. lasagne noodles

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup hard Italian cheese, grated

1/4 cup chopped parsley 

arugula (aka rocket) for garnish



Preheat oven to 350°.

Start by coarsely chopping the onion, celery, and fennel bulb: 

Sauté the veggies in 2 T of the olive oil in a Dutch oven or some other large stove- and oven-proof pot: 


Once the veg have been softened (about 10 minutes), place the pork shoulder in the pot and pour enough chicken stock in to cover the meat. 


Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and cover and bring the pot to a simmer. Then place the pot in the oven. Let it cook for a couple of hours—until the meat is tender.

it will look something like this when done


Let the meat and broth cool on the countertop for about a half an hour, and then remove the meat to a bowl (keeping the broth in the pot). Shred the pork into bite-size chunks, and place in a bowl. 


Pour enough of the broth over the shredded pork to barely cover it: 


(Save the rest of the broth. You may need it to moisten the pork later on, and if not it would make a great soup or sauce.) Season pork with S&P to taste. 

Cover the shredded pork and put it in the fridge until ready to use. You can do everything up to this point a day, or even two, ahead. 

A half hour before service, start a large pot of water heating to use for the pasta. While it’s coming to a boil, get your mise en place of the juiced lemon, chopped parsley, olive oil, cheese, and arugula:

You should also break up the 2 packages of lasagne into 3-inch shards : 


It’s now time to reheat your pork. Put it in a pan and heat until bubbling. Then lower the heat and let the liquid reduce by about half. Add 4 T butter, and stir to emulsify:

(sorry about the bad night-time lighting for these last photos)


Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain (saving a cup of the cooking water), and put back into the pot. Add as much of the pork to the pasta as seems right to you (I’d say a ratio of 1:3 for pork/pasta is good). Add some of the pasta water if it seems too dry. 


Finally, add the lemon juice, ½ cup of the grated cheese, 2 T olive oil, and the chopped parsley. Stir it all in: 


Plate it up, garnish with arugula and more grated cheese, and serve! (See photo at top. The flower in the photo is borage from my garden.)

Alla salute!


 🌿  🐖

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

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Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:
“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


And Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are now available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!



  1. This sounds amazing, Leslie - as do all your recipes! When I hear "ragu," I always think tomatoes, but it must just mean "sauce."

    1. Yes, it's merely some kind of simmered sauce or gravy, in Italian.

  2. Looks so delish, Leslie! I always learn neat new things when I read your posts. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Mary Jane--I do love food stories and history!

  3. Deliciously unctuous!
    And how nice that the bulk of it can be done ahead.

  4. Ooh, you just gave me another idea for cooking pork shoulder in my IP! Thanks, Leslie!

  5. Hi Leslie! I used to avoid pork for years until we had pork tenderloin at a restaurant and I loved it. Now we make all kinds of pork dishes and this looks delicious!

    1. I love shoulder (butt) best, since it has all that yummy fat!

  6. This looks amazing! I'm not the biggest pork fan, but I love pork shoulder and pork belly. Definitely adding this to my recipe list. Just need to convince my picky husband to try fennel.

    1. The fennel adds a luscious undertone, but it's not too strong.