Rigatoni with Pork, Lemon and Spinach
- 8 oz (225 g) fresh pork belly, most of the fat removed, and diced (see note)
- 6 oz (175 g) sweet or spicy pancetta, diced
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
- 2 tsp capers, chopped
- 4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
- ¾ lb (340 g) rigatoni
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 cups (120 g) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (35 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and pepper
- In a large non-stick pan, brown the pork and pancetta in 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil. Drain and set the meat aside on a plate. Discard the cooking fat.
- In the same pan over medium-high heat, brown the onions and garlic in the remaining 3 tbsp (45 ml) of oil. Add the lemon juice and capers and cook for 1 minute. Add the reserved meat and the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 35 minutes or until the broth has reduced by one-third. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta al dente. Set ½ cup (125 ml) of the cooking water aside and drain the pasta.
- Transfer the pasta to the pan with the reduced broth. Add the lemon zest, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Add reserved cooking water, if needed.
Bacon and fresh pork belly are made from the same part of the pig, except that the latter hasn’t been smoked or salted. Fresh pork belly can be found in butcher shops or grocery stores.