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Rachael Ray's Porchetta-Style Ragu

Rachael Ray's Porchetta-Style Ragu


  • 1 ½ cups large homemade breadcrumbs or panko

  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted

  • Salt

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 4 oz. cold meaty pancetta or guanciale, finely chopped

  • 1 lb. coarsely ground pork loin (ask your butcher to grind it for you) or packaged ground pork

  • Pepper

  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 4 tsp. lemon zest, plus 2 tbsp. juice

  • 1 tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) crushed red pepper

  • ½ tsp. fennel pollen (optional)

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional, if you have one in the freezer), plus freshly grated cheese for tossing and serving

  • 1 lb. mezze rigatoni or rigatoni

  • A small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toss the breadcrumbs and butter; season with salt. Bake, stirring once, until toasted and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • Step 3

    In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the pancetta. Cook, stirring often, until the fat begins to render, about 2 minutes. Add the ground pork. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, garlic, 2 tsp. lemon zest, the fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, and the fennel pollen, if using. Stir until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine. Cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and the Parm rind, if using. Reduce heat to low. Let the sauce simmer while you cook the pasta.

  • Step 4

    Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Scoop out about 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  • Step 5

    Discard the Parm rind from the sauce. Add a generous handful of grated Parm, the lemon juice, and the pasta to the sauce. Toss, adding the cooking water as needed if the pasta is too dry. Season with salt.

  • Step 6

    Toss the breadcrumbs with the remaining 2 tsp. lemon zest, the parsley, and a bit more Parm. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls. Top with the breadcrumbs.