Pappardelle with Fennel Infused Crispy Pork Belly and Rich, Spicy Red Wine Sauce

by Katie Quinn Davies

This is a recipe inspired by a meal I had at Peppermint Bay in Tasmania.

You'll need

  • 0.85kg free-range pork belly
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • good pinch sea salt flakes, crumbled
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 10 large vine tomatoes
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 plump garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 250g free-range bacon, trimmed and cut into small pieces/cubes ~ I use Boks Tasmanian bacon
  • 1.5 cups good quality, gutsy shiraz (or similar) red wine
  • 2 long red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
  • good handful basil leaves, torn
  • 700g passata
  • 400g pappardelle pasta
  • baby basil leaves to garnish
  • grated pecorino to serve

Here's how

  1. Pre-heat oven to 240˚C.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut pork belly into small cubes (about 2cm). Add to a mixing bowl then add the fennel seeds, a pinch of salt, some freshly ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Coat pork cubes thoroughly, then turn out onto a non-stick metal baking tray. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes, then reduced oven temp to 180˚C. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes or until pork it crispy. Drain pork on paper towel and set aside.
  3. When oven temp has been reduced to 180˚as above, cut tomatoes in half widthways and place cut-side up onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast in oven alongside pork for 1.5 hours ~ note the pork will be ready 30 mins before tomatoes.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frypan over medium-low heat, add onions. Cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes, add minced garlic and continue to fry together for a few more minutes, taking care not to get the garlic burn. Add bacon and fry until golden brown. Pour in 1/2 cup wine to deglazed the pan, scraping up all the bits from the bottom of the pan, followed by the chopped chilli, passata and torn basil leaves.
  5. Carefully add roasted tomatoes to a blender and whizz until smooth, add to the tomato sauce along with the remaining wine and half the roasted pork cubes. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes to infuse all flavours and allow the sauce to thicken slightly.
  6. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water one minute less than packet instructions so it is al-dente.
  7. Add remaining pork cubes to tomato sauce and stir to heat through.
  8. Combine cooked pasta with tomato sauce then serve hot with grated pecorino and baby/micro basil leaves.

About the Author

Katie Quinn Davies

Katie Quinn Davies ~ originally a native of Dublin, Ireland, now based in Sydney, Australia, works as a freelance commercial photographer specialising in food and lifestyle subjects with a strong focus on the former. She also is a cookbook author and recipe writer and is a regular contributor to... Read Full Bio

More Recipes By Katie

Linguine Alla Vastese
Soft Sheep's Cheese, Smoked Salmon, Baby Pea and Mint Pasta
Nutty Honey and Cider Poached Apple with Natural Yoghurt, Pine Nuts and Chia Seeds
Baby Pea, Asparagus, Prosciutto & Kale Spaghetti with Lemon & Macadamia Pangrattato