Makes 4-6 servings

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2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

21/2 pounds coarsely ground pork

2/3 cup 1/4-inch-diced pancetta (31/2 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2/3 cup each carrots, celery, finely diced

2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

31/2 tablespoons tomato paste

2/3 cup dry red wine

One 14-ounce can Italian cherry tomatoes, drained and smashed, or canned diced tomatoes

2 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1 pound fusilli

Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh ricotta (about 1 tablespoon per bowl) for finishing

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1. In a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, melt the better with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork (cook in batches) and cook until just golden. Be careful not to overbrown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pot and set aside.

2. Add the pancetta to the pot and cook gently over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the meat begins to crisp. Stir in the chile flakes and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and parsley and cook unitl the onion is translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then add the red wine and bring to a simmer.

3. Add the pork to the pot, along with the tomatoes, water and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 40 minutes.

4. Remove the lid and continue to simmer until the ragu has thickened nicely, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Let the ragu cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until fully chilled.

6. Remove and discard about 2/3 of the fat that has risen to the surface of the ragu, leaving the remaining third to be incorporated back into the sauce.

7. In a large pot of well-salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until 2 minutes shy of al dente. Drain.

8. While the pasta is cooking, in a very large skillet (or Dutch oven) warm the ragu over medium heat. Toss the fusilli in the skillet with the ragu and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. If the sauce seems dry, add a few tablespoons of water.

9. Divide the pasta among four individual serving bowls or plates. Finish each with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dollop of ricotta.

 - From Franny's Simple Seasonal Italian (Artisan)

 

Per serving (based on 6): 742 calories; 70 grams protein; 50 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams sugar; 27 grams fat; 230 milligrams cholesterol; 1,458 milligrams sodium; 2 grams dietary fiber.

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