Eating Maremma Style!

Cinghiale (wild boar) is a traditional dish served throughout the Tuscan region. Wild boars are extremely populous in the area and find their way into many stews and pasta dishes. 

Pasta with Braised Pork, Red Wine and Pancetta
Here is another wonderful winter comfort food, guaranteed to warm you up during any snowy day.

Ingredients Preparation
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound pancetta, sliced ½ inch thick and cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 3 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1inch chunks
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 small onion, cut into ½ inch diced pieces
  • 1 small carrot, cut into ½ inch diced pieces
  • 1 celery rib, cut into ½ inch diced pieces
  • 1 leek, white and light green part only, ½ inch diced pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock, or low-sodium broth
  • one 14-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 pound dried strozzapreti or tubetti pasta
  • freshly grated pecorino cheese, for serving
In a casserole, heat the olive oil and add the pancetta. Cook over medium heat until the fat has rendered (about 6 minutes), then transfer the pancetta to a medium bowl.

Season the pork with salt and pepper and add half of it to the casserole. Cook over moderately high heat until browned, then transfer the pork to the bowl with the pancetta. Repeat with remaining pork.

Wrap the sage, thyme and rosemary in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Add this bundle to the casserole along with the onion, carrot, celery, leek and garlic and cook, Stir until the onion is softened (about 2 minutes). Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole and bring to a boil. Return the pancetta and pork shoulder to the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until liquid is almost fully evaporated (about 10 minutes). Add the stock and tomato puree and return to a boil. Cover and simmer the sauce over low heat for 1 hour, until the meat is very tender.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce and discard the herb bundle. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and toss until well-coated. Serve with grated cheese.

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