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Mushroom & Lamb Rigatoni

Serves 6
16 oz rigatoni
2 Tbsp bacon fat
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground lamb
6 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp chili flakes
2 Tbsp cream, optional
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
3 Tbsp cream, optional
1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano, plus more for garnish 
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced for garnish 
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the bacon fat and olive oil. Once hot and shimmering add the onions. Season with a little salt to allow to sweat and cook till softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and soften as well, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook till fragrant for about another minute. 
  2. Add the pork and lamb and heat till cooked through, mixing often with a spoon or spatula. Season with salt and pepper and add the tomatoes, wine, chili flakes and dried herbs. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cooking pasta to al dente according to packages directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain pasta, returning to its pot. If using, immediately add the cream and grated cheese to the red sauce and then pour over rigatoni and toss to combine. Add pasta water as needed to combine and "well dress" the pasta, adding 1/4 cup at a time.
  4. Portion pasta into six bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and additional grated cheese. Bon appetito! 
*Whenever I cook bacon I like to reserve the leftover bacon fat in a jar and store on the shelf of my refrigerator. It is delicious, healthier than processed fats and resourceful. If you don't have leftover bacon fat you can easily cut and cook down two pieces of bacon for this recipe and then add the onions to the pot. 
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