Italian style baby back ribs

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Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 11:27 am | Updated: 3:51 pm, Wed Feb 5, 2014.

I was thrilled to see baby back ribs for buy one get one at Fresh Market. After smoking a few racks for the Super bowl, I decided to make a special Italian dinner out of the other racks. This recipe works great with ribs that have been frozen as well.

Serves 6

  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 3 pounds pork spareribs, denuded, cut into individual ribs
  • 2 pounds Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup diced garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large heavy braising pot, over medium heat cook pancetta until crispy and golden. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Add the spareribs to the pancetta fat and brown well on both sides.

Remove ribs to a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the sausage to the pot and brown both sides. Add the peppers, onion and garlic. Cook until translucent, then deglaze with wine. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then add tomatoes. Bring back to a simmer, and add the cooked pork ribs, parsley, basil, chili flakes and salt and pepper, to taste.

Simmer on low to medium heat, covered, for another 1 1/2 hours.

Serve over pasta, and garnish with pancetta, and Parmesan.

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