Rigatoni With Pork And Porcini Ragu

“This is a perfect Sunday ragu. You could substitute pork shoulder for pork cheeks. You could also use red wine for a deeper and richer ragu but I think the white wine allows the pure pork flavour to shine.”— Daniel Costa, corso 32/Bar Bricco

1/2 c dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, then chopped into a small dice
2lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into very small pieces about 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch
14 c olive oil
150 g pancetta, small dice
1 yellow onion, small dice
2 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
4 cloves whole garlic
8 leaves fresh sage
1 btl dry white wine
2 T tomato paste
kosher salt
black pepper
500g (1 lb bag) rigatoni or other short dried pasta
1 T unsalted butter
1/4 c grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.

Add the pork and pancetta. Season with salt and pepper, fry for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Add the porcini, carrot, celery, onion, whole cloves of garlic and sage, cook for 10 minutes or until golden. Add the tomato paste, cook for 1 minute, stir frequently. Add the white wine, cook for 2 minutes. Add enough water to just cover the pork. Lower the heat to low/medium or until simmering. Place a lid on the pot, cook for about 1½ hours until tender, stir occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove whole garlic cloves and allow the ragu to rest for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until almost al dente or about 1 minute prior to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Strain the pasta and add it to the pot of ragu, return to high heat, add a splash of pasta cooking water and cook for 1 minute or until the ragu is just coating the pasta, stir frequently.

Remove the pasta from the heat, stir in the cheese and butter. Serve with a little extra grated Parmigiano and a drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil.

Serves 4-6