Grilled Country-Style Pork Ribs with Cheesy Veggie Pasta

Friends, it was a tough day, and I NEEDED to cook, while sipping on a generous pour of red wine. So, that’s exactly what I did.

When my hubby tasted the food and said, “OMG, wait til you taste this,” I felt myself totally relax.

Here’s how to make your partner just as happy!

First things first, here’s what’s in my glass! Banner Elk Red, a new favorite from our vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains of N.C.

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For the pork: In a gallon-size zipper-style plastic bag, add:

  • 1 package country-style pork ribs (about 6 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped (or about 1/4 tsp. dried)
  • 1 two-inch sprig fresh rosemary, chopped (or about 1/4 tsp, dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (or 2-3 turns of the salt grinder)
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper (or 5-10 turns of the pepper grinder)

Seal and place bag in a large baking dish (to avoid leaking), put in fridge and marinate overnight (2-3 nights is also ok, as long as it doesn’t go past the use-by date on your meat).

pork

  • Turn your grill on medium low to low (all grills are different)
  • Cook on one side for 5 minutes, flip, then cook on the other side for 5 minutesimage9
  • Test the pork by cutting into the largest part of a few pieces. If a couple pieces are especially large, leave them on a minute or two longer. Here’s what you’re looking for:

For the pasta:

  • Fill a medium saucepan 1/2 – 2/3 full of water
  • Add a couple of shakes of salt (or a couple of turns of the salt grinder) to the water
  • After the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium high, then add 1/2 box pasta
  • Cook pasta per directions on the box (but 6-7 minutes seems to always work for me)
  • While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet on medium high (7 out of 10) for about a minute
  • Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and let heat for another 45-60 seconds
  • Add 1/2 sweet onion, chopped, and let cook for about 3 minutes
  • Add 1 cup mushrooms, chopped, and cook for another 2 minutes or soimage5
  • Reduce heat to simmer
  • Add 1 Tbsp. butter, 1/2 cup (or a pour while counting to two) white wine, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp. Sriracha, and a few sprinkles (or grinds) of salt and pepper
  • Add two large handfuls of kale, chopped, with thick stems removedimage1
  • Turn heat to medium and cover pot
  • Cook for about two minutes, til kale is bright green and softenedimage7
  • When pasta is done (pick out a couple of pieces and taste for the right softness), pour into strainer
  • Add pasta to skillet with veggies and sauce, then stir
  • Cut a few VERY thin sliced of tomato, remove the seeds, then dry them with a paper towel

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  • Add 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella to the top, then the tomato slices

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  • Broil on high for 4-5 minutes, watching closely so your dish doesn’t burn. Here’s what you’re looking for – crispy, ooey, gooey goodness!

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  • Top with crushed red pepper, Parmesan cheese, basil – whatever you like

Finish:

  • Dish up pork with pasta, and enjoy!

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