When my sister moved to California about a month ago, she cleaned out her pantry and I became the lucky recipient of dried pastas and noodles, oils and vinegars, and spices -- even saffron threads. Many of the noodles were Asian-style noodles like udon and soba, which I had never bought or cooked with before. I was excited to try some recipes with these new additions to my pantry.
This may sound strange, but I was flipping through my Williams-Sonoma catalog one evening, and I noticed a recipe for udon pork ragu. As I scanned through the ingredient list, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to make with all the udon noodles my sister left me.
The recipe calls for tons of heirloom tomatoes, which get cooked until they break down into a sauce. Pair that summery sauce with browned ground pork, fresh herbs, and chewy udon noodles, and you've got one spectacular dinner -- and lots of leftovers! (I only made half the recipe, and we still had tons!)
Udon Pork Ragu (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
1 pound ground pork
1 yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice
14 ounces udon noodles
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
Stir in garlic powder and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, season with salt, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until tomatoes start to break down, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare udon noodles according to package directions.
Uncover tomato mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add prepared udon noodles to sauce, and stir to coat them with the sauce.
Transfer pasta to bowls, garnish with parsley and basil, and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top.
I loved finding a dish that incorporated not only the newly gifted udon noodles but tons of wonderful heirloom tomatoes -- one of the things I love most about summer. It also doesn't hurt that the dish is relatively quick to throw together and only takes two pans.
Have you ever cooked with udon noodles? What have you made?