Rating: 4 forks out of 5.
Click "Read More" for Recipe Execution.
Gr. 400 (14.11 oz) Bombolotti (half rigatoni) 1 lb spaghetti
Gr 150 (5.291 oz) of pork cheek or pancetta 5 slices center cut bacon cut width-wise into thin strips
2 palmfuls pecorino romano cheese
2 large onions cut into long strips
Red hot chili flakes
+ 2 tablespoon low-fat maple syrup
+ 2 tablespoon sugar
Directions the way I did it:
Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons oil.
Add onion and bacon to skillet and cook on Medium-low heat until the onions start to become clear and the bacon has had the chance to cook without crisping. Add your syrup, sugar and salt and mix up well with a wooden spoon. Lower heat to low, throw in the pepper flakes and let sit in warmth for like 30 minutes turning every once in a while as it caramelizes.
Boil salted water and cook spaghetti as directed on the box minus a minute for a firm al dente. Drain pasta and add to the skillet with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and toss with tongs (and flip it some if a little more skilled in the kitchen). Make sure the oil covers the pasta and the onions and meat have evenly distributed. Add the cheese and toss some more.
Plate, top with a touch more of romano and enjoy
We, almost without fail, have rigatoni every time we have sauce on Sundays so I opted for spaghetti. But I think any shaped pasta will work with this recipe.
I added the sugar and syrup to the caramelization process to really increase the sweetness factor on this as the restaurant really nailed the balance of sweet and salt. It was a smart move.
I was not going to a butcher on my weekend to get a small amount of cheek of anything (pork or otherwise). I just used bacon. I think prosciutto would have worked too but I feared overcooking it.
This recipe really came out well and was quite close to the one at the restaurant (not good enough the skip Quinto Quarto Osteria altogether--the restaurant is awesome).
This is also easier than making my "regular" red sauce and can be thrown together on the fly.
This recipe is available in the CrOOK BOOK