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Not-a-Boar Meat Sauce and Pasta

Not-a-Boar Meat Sauce and Pasta


  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta or broken curly-edge lasagna noodles

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 3/4 pound ground pork

  • 3/4 pound ground beef

  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 3 sprigs thyme, stems discarded and leaves finely chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 pinches ground cloves or allspice

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain. While the pasta is working, in a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat, until smoking. Add the pork and beef and cook, stirring, until browned, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, cocoa and cloves; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the wine. Stir in the chicken stock and milk, lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir the pasta into the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the cheese, to coat. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls.