I spoke to my friend about this last night and wanted to remember this as one of my all-time favourite dishes to serve to friends at dinner. It’s impressively delicious, and really easy to make – the slow cooker really does it all for you.
This dish was inspired by Oso’s wild boar braised in red wine. Not having easy access to wild boar, I decided to try it with the more readily-available pork belly.
Brown the pork belly strips (I use one strip per person) in a frying pan until brown and crispy, about 3 minutes each side.
Pop the browned pork belly strips into your slow cooker along with a few cloves of garlic, some thyme and about a bottle of red wine (for four). It will reduce down, so don’t worry that there seems to be a lot of wine in the cooker. I put the slow cooker on high for an hour or two and then reduce it to low for the next 6 hours, but guess you could even pop it all in the cooker in the morning and leave it on slow for the day to have a wonderful pasta sauce by dinnertime.
While the pasta is cooking, take out any large pieces of the pork belly, shred into large chunks and then add back into the sauce. Season to taste.
When you’re ready to eat, cook your pappardelle in salted water (the flavour of the water should be how salty you want your pasta to be) to just before al dente, then drain and transfer to a large frying pan with a few spoons of the cooking water (just so that the sauce can coat the pasta and make it silky) and add the sauce.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan and a few drops of good olive oil.