- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta or broken curly-edge lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme, stems discarded and leaves finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 pinches ground cloves or allspice
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
While the pasta is working, in a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat, until smoking. Add the pork and beef and cook, stirring, until browned, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, cocoa and cloves; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the wine. Stir in the chicken stock and milk, lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
Stir the pasta into the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the cheese, to coat. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls.