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BRAISED SPARERIBS WITH RIGATONI
This is adapted from a recipe for a dish served in Lidia's Restaurant in Kansas City, as featured on FoodTV a long time ago. Your choice of peppers will determine how "hot" you want the dish, and you can leave out the crushed red pepper if you wish. You can also reduce the fat by using baby back ribs instead of the more fatty spareribs.
Serves: 6

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 pounds pork spareribs, cut in individual ribs
2 large onions -- thinly sliced
10 large cloves garlic -- chopped
8 bottled pepperoncini or cherry peppers - seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 cans Italian tomatoes in juice (28 oz.ea)
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 pound rigatoni
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Sprinkle spareribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add ribs to pot and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer ribs to a bowl.

In the same pot, add onions, garlic, peppers and crushed red pepper if used. Saute until onions just begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices; use a fork or potato masher to coarsely crush tomatoes.

Return ribs and their juices to the pot. Add broth , wine, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until ribs are very tender and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain and return pasta to the pot. Add cheese, parsley and some of the sauce; toss to coat. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl; top with spareribs and remaining sauce and serve.

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Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved