Andrew Mandolene and Todd Goddard's house is full of old and new. In 2007, the couple moved into their newly restore home: architect Arthur Witthoefft's 1957 structure that won an AIA First Honor Award in 1962. Their cuisine also nods to days past: One of Andrew's favorite dishes to whip up is his Mama Mandolene's homemade tomato sauce for rigatoni with pork chops. Here he spills the family secrets.
"I love to make homemade tomato sauce with pork chops over rigatoni," Andrew says. "This recipe is one my italian mother taught me years ago."
4 family-style pork chops with fat remaining
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large yellow onions
5 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch fresh celery leaves, chopped
Sea or kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
8 large, ripe garden tomatoes, chopped
1 large can tomato paste
1 pound rigatoni
Lots of fresh grated pecorino romano cheese
1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook olive oil, onions, garlic, pork chops, salt, and pepper. Cook the pork chops about ten minutes each side, stirring.
2. Add celery leaves and continue cooking for another 30 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Mix in tomatoes and continue cooking over medium heat about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in tomato paste. Cook an additional hour on low heat, stirring occasionally.
5. Carefully remove the pork chops from the sauce, trying not to let them break, and set aside to plate with rigatoni.
6. Cook rigatoni pasta as per package directions.
7. Gently mix rigatoni with sauce in the same sauce pan. Plate the rigatoni with tender pork chops on the side. Sprinkle generous amount of fresh pecorino roman cheese over the rigatoni.
Andrew's tip: Serve with mixed green lettuces dressed with good olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea or kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, grated pecorino cheese, and garbanzo beans.