Italian is always our go-to on busy nights and I adore it for it’s simplicity and rich flavors. We were going to make pizza last night, after visiting a local pizza hotspot and declaring that we can make something a million times better at home, yet it was late and ambitions needed to be brought down a notch, or several. What is a girl to do with an empty fridge and and a box of frozen ground meat? I grabbed a jar of strained tomatoes, last bit of our pancetta, a red onion, loads of garlic, few anchovies and olive oil…
The sauce is simmered for about a half hour to meld all the flavors. It’s lightly oily because of the pancetta, so it coats and hugs the pasta rather happily. I drizzled some truffle olive oil all around for added flavor.
And ooh, do you see the black specks? Here’s the huge bonus, the truffle on top. Yea! I spied a Moliterno Black Truffle Pecorino cheese at my local specialty store — a black truffle cheese from Sardinia. It’s made with unpasteurized sheep’s milk and after the cheese develops, black truffles are added to it, so that the truffle flavor permeates throughout the entire cheese. Needless to say, I needed to buy it. It was a bit overpungent (I know that’s not a word) on it’s own, and I wondered how it would taste grated on top of the sauce.
It blew my mind.
I could eat this cheese for the rest of my life. With a huge, bold, earthy red wine. Omg.
Not feeling like pasta? Why not use the sauce on pizza, which is what we did end up making today after all. Just simmer the sauce slightly longer to reduce the liquids and spread on the pizza dough.
Side note: I’m loving this blog.
Makes 4 servings
1/3 cup pancetta, diced
200g ground meat (bison, extra lean ground beef, or turkey thighs)
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 slices of anchovies, chopped
4 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth
1 jar (24oz) strained tomatoes
1 tbs freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
generous 1 tbs white sugar, more, to taste
drizzle of black truffle infused olive oil
generous grating of Black Truffle Pecorino cheese
Dry fry the pancetta in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until lightly browned and crispy. Without removing the pancetta, add the onions, garlic and anchovies, then cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent. Add the ground meat and cook until no longer pink.
Pour in the jar of strained tomatoes and swirl around to mix all ingredients well. The mixture will be instantly bubbly and evaporating quickly. Ladle in the chicken broth, then add the black pepper, salt and sugar. Mix well and bring to a brief boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
To serve as pictured, prepare portions of pasta until al-dente, ladle the sauce on top and drizzle with truffle olive oil. Garnish with basil and Black Truffle Pecorino.