Rigatoni con Carne di Maiale Tritata, Funghi e Pancetta
Rigatoni with Ground Pork, Mushroom and Bacon
Tonight I put together a nice simple dish of pasta, ground pork and mushrooms... a few herbs, a sprinkle of bacon and a splash of white wine... and again realized that sometimes the simple things really are the best. Oh my! What a delicious and satisfying meal! The only real prep-work involved, was soaking the dried King Oyster Mushrooms that I used- which took maybe 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, the whole meal was finished in 20 minutes!
So- get that saucepan on the stove and your pasta boiling before we start with the fun stuff. First off, we are going to sautée those mushrooms with the diced bacon until they get nice and brown- so make sure you wring them out well after soaking them. Once they are done, after 2-3 minutes, set them to one side for later. Now, using the same frying pan, add the ground pork, a fine dice of carrot, celery and spring onion, and fry them at a fairly high heat until they begin to brown. De-glaze the pan with a splash of white wine and add some crushed garlic, parsley, cumin seeds and finely chopped rosemary. After 2-3 minutes, grate generously with nutmeg and add a cupful of milk, stir well and allow to render down a little into a nice "sauce" of sorts.
After around 10 minutes cooking time, the pasta should almost be good. Drain it and pour it into the frying pan to finish cooking in all of those good flavors. You will find that as the pasta continues cooking, it will absorb some of the liquid, whilst at the same time giving off starch which in turn thickens it. So, after the full cooking time, the wine and milk should have reduced down nicely together and with the fresh herbs and nutmeg, have become a mild and tasty sauce. Season with salt, pepper and add a little extra virgin olive oil. And dinner can be served!