Spiced Pork & Bucatini Pasta with Zucchini & Spinach

Spiced Pork & Bucatini Pasta

with Zucchini & Spinach

30 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

To add exciting contrast of flavor to this comforting pasta, you’ll cook ground pork with plump, sweet currants and briny capers in a bright sauce flavored with our warming quatre épices spice blend. A garnish of parmesan cheese adds a final layer of savory flavor to the dish.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    790 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Spiced Pork & Bucatini Pasta with Zucchini & Spinach
Title
  • 1⅛ lbs Ground Pork
  • ¾ lb Bucatini Pasta
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 2 Tbsps Dried Currants
  • 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
  • 2 Tbsps Butter
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1½ tsps Calabrian Chile Paste
  • 1 tsp Quatre Épices (White Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger & Cloves)
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Halve, peel, and thinly slice the onion. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Place the currants in a bowl; add 1/4 cup of warm water. Set aside to rehydrate at least 10 minutes. 

Cook the pasta:
2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Brown the zucchini:
3 Brown the zucchini:

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini in an even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan. 

Cook the pork & make the sauce:
4 Cook the pork & make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pork, sliced onion, chopped garlic, capers, and quatre épices; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and chile paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), the spinach, and rehydrated currants (including the liquid); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the pork is cooked through. Turn off the heat. 

Finish & serve your dish:
5 Finish & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked pork and sauce, browned zucchini, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Halve, peel, and thinly slice the onion. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Place the currants in a bowl; add 1/4 cup of warm water. Set aside to rehydrate at least 10 minutes. 

2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Cook the pasta:
Brown the zucchini:
3 Brown the zucchini:

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini in an even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan. 

4 Cook the pork & make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pork, sliced onion, chopped garlic, capers, and quatre épices; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and chile paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add 1/2 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), the spinach, and rehydrated currants (including the liquid); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the pork is cooked through. Turn off the heat. 

Cook the pork & make the sauce:
Finish & serve your dish:
5 Finish & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked pork and sauce, browned zucchini, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche until combined. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the cheese. Enjoy!

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