The holidays are upon us and that means house guests, parties, and gifts – which can really put a strain on our wallets! Author of Rustic Joyful Food, Danielle Kartes shares one of her favorite budget-friendly crowd-pleasers below.

Danielle also uses this ragu in her recipe for Shakshuka in Pork Ragu.

Watch her show you how to shop on a budget here and check out the rest of her budget-friendly menu that’ll help you feed holiday houseguests for a WEEK for only $100:

Sweet 'n' Sour Chicken With Chow Mein Noodles

Leftover Shredded Pork Sheet Pan Nachos

Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs With Caramelized Mushrooms

Broccoli & Sausage Frittata

Spicy Chicken & Nut Lettuce Cups



For the pasta
  • 1 pound ground country-style pork ribs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Two 32-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch crushed red chili flakes
  • Two 16-ounce boxes linguine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
For the Garlicky Asparagus
  • 2 to 3 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Serves: 8 to 10


For the pork ragu, brown the pork in butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until golden and crisp on the edges, about 8 minutes. Add peppers, onion, celery and carrots, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until veggies are soft and slightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and spices, season with salt and pepper, and simmer over low heat, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

About 20 minutes before sauce is done, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add linguine and cook according to package directions for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta cooking water, then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, for the asparagus, bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saute pan with high sides over high heat. Add asparagus and cook until water is evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add the butter and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

Add cream and linguine into the pork ragu and toss to coat, adding some reserved pasta cooking water to loosen, if needed. Serve pasta topped with parmesan cheese and with the asparagus.

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