My mother, probably your Nonna, or maybe your neighbor “Teresa,” or perhaps even your spouse’s favorite Zia have made the classic Italian sauce where pork happily swims around for hours, absorbing and releasing flavors, to the point each morsel of meat is tender beyond words and a knife is unnecessary. This has always been and still is one of my favorites, but I’ve stepped away from the tradition of the stove-top method, where I myself have had to run like crazy to “stir the sauce” every half hour or so. Ssshh…don’t tell my Mom, but here is my easy crock pot recipe (she cringes every time I mention it…I’m not sure why). If you are in the market for an inexpensive and powerful slow cooker, check out Bella.
2 lbs. boneless pork ribs
meat tenderizer (about 1 1/2 tbsp.)
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
In a crock pot or slow cooker, add the crushed tomatoes, onions, salt, sugar, and pepper and mix. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the spareribs with meat tenderizer and mix to coat. Add the bread crumbs and stir until each piece is covered. Layer the ribs into the sauce mixture in the slow cooker, and sprinkle any remaining bread crumbs over top the pieces. Cook on low for 4 hours. When it’s time to eat, boil your favorite pasta and use the sauce! Follow the pasta with the ribs and a side salad, along with some bread, and you’ll have a hearty, warm family meal, perfect for these incredibly cold winter nights when the best distraction from the frigid temperatures is spending time with one another around the dinner table. Buon Apetito!