Recipe: Pork Trotter Ragu Rigatoni By Chef-Owner Petrina Loh of Morsels
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Bonus: She also shares how to make pickled green tomato for the perfect pasta accomplice
They say everything has its own time.
And for Chef Petrina Loh, it was only after eight years in her lucrative banking career did she give that all up to pursue her first love of the culinary arts.
The transition from counting coins to wielding kitchen tools came naturally for the 35-year old, seeing how she was born into a family of foodies where her late father serves as her biggest inspiration.
After an extended period of honing her chef skills at the prestigious California Culinary Academy and picking up the tricks of trade in renowned restaurants such as Michelin-starred Spruce, Chef Loh finally settled down in 2013 and had a food baby – a 40-seater restaurant called Morsels.
Here, Chef Loh disregards fleeting food fads, and instead serves up dishes that reflect her culinary ethos – the harmonious fusion of varied ingredients. Think delectable Asian-influenced creations consisting ingredients elevated through the techniques of fermentation, pickling and ageing.
To properly illustrate her thought process of marrying flavours and textures, here is Chef Loh’s Pork Trotter Ragu Rigatoni recipe that is topped with green tomato pickle.
Serves: 4-6 Persons
- 1 Pork Trotter with Knuckle
- 1 Litre Pork or Chicken Stock
- 1 Leek (use only white portion)
- 2 Brown Onions
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Clove of Garlic (peeled, smashed, minced)
- 500g Canned Tomato
- 6 Roma Tomatoes
- ¼ Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- ¼ Cup Cooking Olive Oil
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 3 Dried Bay Leaf
- 1/8 Cup Japanese Rice Vinegar
- 1 Sprig Chervil or Italian Parsley
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Boil a pot of water, blanch pork trotter till firm and scum floats on surface approximately 10 minutes, ice down in a water bath
- Cut onion, leek, tomato, and carrot into medium dice (save 1 onion for making ragu)
- Combine tomato paste and olive oil, fry, add mirepoix and sweat till soft and aromatic
- Add garlic
- Combine blanched pork trotter and mirepoix into pressure cooker, add heated stock, cook for 30 minutes
- Remove and cool for 15 minutes, pull the meat and separate bones
- With the pork trotter meat, get it into a pot with braising liquid from earlier
- Add the remaining onion, and canned tomatoes, into the pork trotter braise and cook further for another an hour
- Add vinegar and wine, stir and cook for another 15 minutes
- Meanwhile, boil pasta till al dente as per pasta packet instructions, make sure pasta water is salted, after cooking rigatoni, toss in some olive oil
- To serve, toss the pork trotter meat and rigatoni in a pan
- Drizzle some evoo to finish
- Garnish with chervil or italian parsley
Green Tomato Pickle
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- ½ Tbsp Fennel Seed
- ½ Tbsp Szechuan Peppercorn
- 2 Star Anise
- 1.5 Cup Japanese Rice Vinegar
- 1.5 Cup Filtered Water
- 3 Green Tomatoes or any unripe tomato (must be firm)
- Combine rice vinegar and water into a pot a bring to boil, lower heat after boil
- Toast spices for 2 minutes
- Add into vinegar liquid
- Smash garlic
- Cut tomato into rounds
- Pickle for 1 hour