A favorite holiday recipe of Abby's, a member of Rachael's prep staff.
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 3/4 pounds pancetta, chopped
- 7 cloves garlic, chopped or grated, divided
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, finely c1 large onion, finely choppedhopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 28-ounce cans whole, peeled San Marzano plum tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 1 pound spaghetti
Yields: 6 servings
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan. Add in the chopped pancetta and cook until brown and crispy, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, cooled pancetta, 4 cloves of garlic, allspice, currants, toasted pine nuts, sage, parsley, grated Parmigianino cheese and chopped eggs. Season the pork brasciole mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then form into meat balls the size of golf balls.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of EVOO and brown the meatballs on all sides (work in batches if you need to). Once the meatballs are seared on the outside, remove them from the pan and reserve on a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO to the pan along with the onion, remaining 3 cloves of garlic, carrot, and bay leaf. Cook until the veggies begin to get tender, 4-5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste to the veggies and cook until the tomato paste caramelizes and smells sweet, 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pot and mash them up with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Add in the red wine and bring the sauce up to a bubble, scraping all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the seared meatballs back to the pan and simmer for about 1-1 1/2 hours over medium-low heat, until sauce is flavorful and the meatballs are nice and tender.
When the meatballs have about 20 minutes left to cook, place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring it to a boil. Add some salt and the spaghetti and cook to al dente, according to package directions. Drain the pasta and toss it in the pan with the sauce and the meatballs. To serve, top each portion of pasta with a few meatballs.
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