Pasta with Braised Pork, Red Wine and Pancetta
In the winter, I always make tons of this pasta and freeze it in quart-size Ziploc bags for quick meals. It’s inspired by some of the best sauces I’ve eaten all over Italy and NYC (thank you to Mario Batali and Michael White for teaching me how to appreciate and create real pasta). I like this sauce with tubetti or short mezzi rigatoni, so that it gets into all the holes. The pork lends fattiness, the wine gives a balanced acidity and the pancetta delivers all the wholesome saltiness you could ever want from an ingredient. If you use really high quality pancetta, you will also get a fine line of cured funk throughout the dish that is sublime. Don’t use cheap pancetta here, but yes, Boar’s Head brand is just fine.
I developed this dish about 15 years ago for some corporate classes I was doing at Cooks of Crocus Hill in St. Paul, and I met my wife the night I first taught this Italian classic to my students. I hope it works out as well for you.—Andrew Zimmern
Slideshow:Italian Pasta Recipes