I grew up in Italy from the ages of 6 to 12 and eating authentic, delicious Italian food during those formative years really taught me how Italian food should taste. I struggle to find good Italian restaurants that meet my standards, so I take matters into my own kitchen, where I recreate some of that Italian deliciousness from my youth.
This pasta is one of my favorites and it fills me with warmth and comfort every time I prepare it. The slow-simmering pork ragu makes the house smell like heaven and every bite of this hearty and creamy pasta transports me to the Italian countryside. It is a bit laborious, but I promise it’s worth it!
And it is the best thing I ate all year :).
You can use any pasta (rigatoni, penne, or spaghetti work great) but I really love the bucatini. Because of its thickness and hollow center, bucatini goes great with hearty sauces like this one. It’s like having the best of both worlds: the fun, fork-twirling experience of spaghetti and the sauce-catching power of tubular pasta like penne. And I highly recommend investing in good-quality cheeses—it makes a huge difference. Buon appetito!
Note: I like to finish this sauce with a teaspoon or so of authentic, high-quality Italian balsamic vinegar. It's how the Italians do it and I think a touch of acidity really balances the sauce. But it is optional.
—Jenya | BlueGalley
WHO: Jenya | BlueGalley is a blogger living in California.
WHAT: A rich, long-simmered pork ragu, spooned over bucatini.
HOW: Pork sausage and pancetta team up with mirepoix, anchovies, red wine, tomatoes, Calabrian peppers, and a long time on the stove for a well-rounded and deeply flavorful pasta sauce.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We imagine this recipe as one a grandmother would make for a big Sunday dinner. It takes a fair amount of time to put together, but after a couple of hours simmering, the result is a sauce with rich, deep flavor (and one that really does benefit from the balsamic, just as Jenya | BlueGalley says!) —The Editors