Slow-cooked pork pasta
This dish proves that the most delectable, memorable meals are not always beautiful to look at. A boring looking dish, yes, but my absolute standout favorite meal from our recent trip to Italy. The most memorable flavor of our holiday.
During our recent trip to Italy we visited San Gimignano in Tuscany. I ate two of my three favorite meals of the trip there. The meal that I am referring to was Pici pasta with wild boar. It was the most melt in the mouth, gloriously, intriguing, more-ish, surprising pasta dish to have ever to passed my lips.
I ordered it one night and then sought it out on another menu the night after as well. The taste intrigued me as it was astonishingly packed with flavor for a dish that looked very boring and like it barely contained any ingredients. I spent a good 5 minutes pushing that pasta around around my plate gently trying to uncover what the ingredients were that were producing the mouthwatering flavor. I had to tell my mind to wait 5 minutes until the meal hit my stomach as when I finished the bowl it was my immediate desire to order another bowl of this glorious pasta.
I have to tell you that I am a Parmesan cheese freak. I adore it and I use it with abandon. I add LOTS to pasta. To maintain nice table manners I always allow everyone at the table to add theirs first and then I add mine, lots of it! This pasta was so amazing that I got half way through the bowl prior to asking for Parmesan – not because it was needed for the flavor but because I was curious to try it with Parmesan. I had discovered my first pasta that did not require Parmesan.
The pasta I ate in Italy was a pasta is called Pici pasta, a very thick spaghetti style pasta. The one I have re-created here is obviously not a Pici pasta, I used fettuccine as that is what I had in my pantry. Use the pasta that you have available. It is the sauce that is the kicker in this recipe. The pasta used is a lovely bonus.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- ½ stalk celery - finely chopped
- 2-3 pieces of good quality prosciutto - finely chopped
- 100 ml white wine (not sweet)
- 200 gm minced pork fillet
- 50 ml water
- Generous pinch salt
- Dry pasta
- Heat the oven to 120 degrees
- Add the oil to the pan on a hot plate and then the garlic, celery and prosciutto and cook over low/medium heat until the garlic and celery soften and start to turn translucent
- Add the wine and then the pork and stir until the pork changes color
- Add the water and salt
- Cover with a lid and put into the oven at 120 degrees for 1 hour 20 minutes
- Monitor to ensure that the liquid does not evaporate and allow the meat to dry out
- Set a pot of water to boil and add salt
- Cook the pasta and remove the meat from the oven
- Drain the pasta when just al-dente and then add it to the pan with the meat and stir to combine.
- Serve with freshly ground pepper and Parmesan if desired.
Do you have a favorite meal that is not beautiful to look at but the taste makes up for it?
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