Pasta With Cinnamon Spiced Pork Ragu from Friuli Venezia Giulia.
This pasta with cinnamon spiced pork ragu is a unique Italian pasta recipe from Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Italian region where the cuisine is much influenced by neighbouring Austria and Slovenia.
Pastesùte cu’ la cjâr di purcìt (local dialect!)
The capital city of Friuli Venezia Giulia is Trieste on the Adriatic coast near the border with Slovenia. Throughout history, Trieste has been an important port. Even today, it is one of the leading coffee importing and roasting cities in Europe.
Trieste was also a major spice port during the time it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, poppy seeds, pepper and other flavors and spices became part of the local cuisine as they were transported to Vienna and Budapest. This influence is still very much present in both sweet and savoury dishes from this region, like this tagliatelle pasta with cinnamon spiced pork ragu.
Not typically Italian!
This pasta with pork ragu is definitely not stereotypical Italian. Firstly there are no tomatoes or garlic or olive oil!! Secondly it contains cinnamon and cloves and thirdly you have to add raw eggs to the pasta before serving! Well, I guess the last part is rather reminiscent of carbonara or tagliatelle with chicken livers from Emilia Romagna! And even one of my more recent recipe posts for mezzi-paccheri with mushrooms and cream!
Despite the use of unusual spices, or maybe because of them, this pasta with pork ragu is outstandingly delicious. It’s also pretty easy to make. Yes it takes a little while to cook, but so do so many wonderful pasta sauces. (think Bolognese!).
The recipe I followed called for pork tenderloin but you can also use shoulder. Tenderloin cooks faster so if using other cuts you may need to increase cooking time for the meat to be soft and tender.
Pasta is traditionally more often fresh in Friuli Venezia Giulia and pasta ribbons such as mafaldine, tagliatelle and lasagnette are popular. I used fresh tagliatelle. However, this recipe can also be made with dried pasta tubes such as penne or rigatoni or even spaghetti.
The cheese used in this recipe is Montasio. This is a mountain cheese made from cow’s milk in both Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. You can buy it in four versions, fresh, semi-mature, mature and aged (Italians say ‘stagionata’ for aged or mature cheese). Fresh Montasio is quite mild but the flavour intensifies with age. Aged Montasio is a popular cheese for making cheese baskets or crisps. I used a mature Montasio for this pork ragu recipe. However, you can also use Parmigiano or grana.
Making this pasta with pork ragu
Apart from the many herbs and spices the sauce for this pasta with cinnamon spiced pork ragu contains only the meat, onions, wine and eggs. As I said before, it’s pretty simple to make but absolutely delicious. Definitely different to what most people imagine an Italian meat ragu to taste like, but so worth trying!
If you do try this pasta with cinnamon spiced pork ragu, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.
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Do you like tagliatelle? Check out some other tagliatelle recipes here on The Pasta Project!
- Tagliatelle with pancetta and fresh peas; recipe from Veneto
- Porcini mushrooms with tagliatelle; recipe from Tuscany
- Tagliatelle with Bolognese; recipe from Emilia-Romagna
- Tagliatelle pasta muffin nests
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Despite the use of unusual spices, or maybe because of them, this pasta with pork ragu is outstandingly delicious. It’s also pretty easy to make.
- 400 g tagliatelle (14 oz) You can also use pasta tubes or other pasta ribbons
- 400 g pork tenderloin (14 oz) or shoulder
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 30 g butter (1oz)
- 1 bunch herbs (marjoram, rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf) . I used fresh herbs except marjoram. Y
- 1/2 glass white wine
- 2 eggs
- 45 g Montasio or Parmigiano grated
- salt for pasta and to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2-3 cloves or 1 tsp clove powder
Cut the meat into small pieces and brown it in melted butter in a deep frying pan or iron skillet (I used my Dutch oven).
Stir, then lower the heat, add salt, pepper, cloves and cinnamon. Pour in the wine and continue cooking.
Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash and chop the herbs (if fresh) except the bay leaf.
Reduce some of the liquid over a moderate heat then add the finely chopped onion and the bunch of aromatic herbs, cover and cook, slowly and for about 45 minutes to one hour.
Put a pot of water onto boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with a pinch of salt.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the meat sauce, mix together well . Add the beaten egg a little at a time whilst stirring continuously until all the pasta is coated with the eggs and sauce.
Serve immediately with the grated cheese.
I used a mature Montasio for this recipe. However, you can also use Parmigiano or grana.
This recipe can also be made with dried pasta tubes such as penne or rigatoni or even spaghetti.
Tenderloin cooks faster so if using another cut of pork you may need to increase cooking time for the meat to be soft and tender.