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Slow-cooked free-range Pork Shoulder with Ricotta Cavatelli & Salsa Verde

Slow-cooked free-range Pork Shoulder with Ricotta Cavatelli & Salsa Verde

Slow-cooked free-range Pork Shoulder with Ricotta Cavatelli & Salsa Verde

Slow-roasting the pork for so long makes it tender and succulent – a perfect match with ricotta cavatelli and a light, fresh salsa verde will give the perfect accent. This dish is created by Gideon Landman from Baduzzi. Baduzzi is the multi award-winning home of Italian-inspired food at North Wharf. Famous for their modern take on meatballs, it has been hailed as the best Italian-American restaurant in Auckland.

Prep: 60 mins
Cook Time: 4-5 hours
Serves: 4-6

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.

Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add the onion, half of the carrots, celery and fennel (reserve the rest for later). Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft. Next add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, fennel seeds, ¾ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, star anise and orange zest. Cook for a few more minutes. Transfer to a large roasting tray. 

Score the pork and then rub with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt.

Place pork in roasting tray and cook for 35 mins. Lower temperature to 170°C and cook for another 4-5 hours, depending on the size of the shoulder.  

While the pork is cooking, start preparing the salsa verde and cavatelli.

One hour before pork is ready, add the rest of the carrots, celery and fennel as well as the reserved chopped orange. Mix well and adjust seasoning if needed. When pork is ready, remove from the sauce. Mix some of the basil into the sauce, reserve some for garnish.

20 mins before pork is ready, get a pot of salted water to the boil, cook cavatelli until al dente for approx. 6-8 mins. They are done when they float at the top.

If you have a slow-cooker
In a slow cooker, combine the onion, half of the carrots, celery and fennel (reserve the rest for later). Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft. Next add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, fennel seeds, ¾ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, star anise and orange zest. Cook for a few more minutes.

Add the pork, turn to coat. Cover and cook the pork on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 5-6 hours.

While the pork is cooking, start preparing the salsa verde and cavatelli.

One hour before pork is ready, add the rest of the carrots, celery and fennel as well as the reserved chopped orange. Mix well, and adjust seasoning if needed. When pork is ready, remove from the sauce. Mix some of the basil into the sauce, reserve some for garnish.

20 mins before pork is ready, get a pot of salted water to the boil, cook cavatelli until al dente for approx. 6-8 mins. They are done when they float at the top.

Ricotta Cavatelli
Mix flour and salt together. Add ricotta and mix to form a dough. Gradually work the dough on a floured surface until nice and smooth. If dough is too dry, add 2 Tbsp of milk or water until it reaches the right consistency. Rest in a covered bowl at room temperature for 30 mins.

Shape the dough into a circle and cut into quarters, roll each quarter into a rope shape roughly 1 cm in diameter. Cut the dough with a knife into 2cm pieces.

With your index and third finger held together gently press down on each piece, beginning at the top and moving down towards the bottom, dragging your fingers toward you and causing the pasta to roll over on itself.

Transfer the pasta onto a lightly floured tray, let it dry out at room temperature then place in fridge until needed.

To Cook:
Get a pot of salted water to the boil, cook cavatelli until al dente for approx. 6-8 mins. They are done when they float at the top.

Salsa Verde
Using a mortar and pestle, rub the garlic and salt together. Add half of the oil, then start adding the parsley till everything is incorporated. Add the rest of the oil as needed. Season with vinegar.

To Serve
Place pieces of shoulder on a platter, season with salt and freshly grated orange zest, tear some fresh basil and scatter around, mix the cavatelli with the vegetable mixture and place around the pork, finish with grated pecorino

Ingredients

For the pork
Pork shoulder (600g-1kg), trimmed and cut in half
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
1 fennel, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 star anise
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
Zest of 1 orange, chop up the flesh and reserve for later
½ lemon
Black pepper
Kosher salt
1 orange for serving
pecorino for serving
400g tinned diced tomatoes
50g fresh basil

Ricotta cavatelli
250g ricotta
250g strong flour
10g salt

Salsa verde
½ clove garlic, chopped
Pinch of salt
80ml olive oil
60g curly or Italian parsley, picked
30ml chardonnay vinegar

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