Andrea’s pasta with short ribs is the pasta you want to make soon

Although this recipe is called Andrea’s pasta, whenever I make it, I think of Mark Bittman. I learned of it from Mark Bittman, so that’s one reason. But it also has the characteristics of a good Bittman recipe: simple, with not too many ingredients, but packed with flavour.

If you are a pasta fan, it could go in your selection of go to pastas, like carbonara and marinara and arrabiata and puttanesca. If you are a rib fan, it’s a nice alternative from slow cooked or grilled ribs. It’s simple enough for a slow evening weekday cook. Yet you can serve it to guests. It’s fine if you use really good ribs, but I have used cheap riblets and cooked them for a long time and it was still great. The slow cooking of the ribs adds a wonderful pork flavour to the tomato sauce.

I usually like to recommend options, but this recipe is good the way it is. If you insist, add a sprig or two of rosemary with the the chili flakes. Ribs and rosemary go well together. As do olives. At some point while it is simmering, add 1/2 cup to a cup of olives if you like. Really, any of the classic Italian herbs – rosemary, basil, oregano, marjoram – would all go nicely. It’s a Roman dish, so go with the cheese Mark recommends. But if you don’t want to, any good hard Italian cheese should work.

A nice Italian red of any varietal would go well with this. So too would a cold bottle of San Pellegrino. Don’t forget crusty bread.

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