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A Must-Share Pasta Recipe and Random Life Updates

Pasta alla Norcina

I will kick off this post with a fantastic recipe I made last night because that’s probably why you are here.

If you want to read my boring life update (because it’s been MONTHS since I’ve blogged), it’s below the recipe card.

pasta all Norcina
Yield: 6 servings

Pasta alla Norcina

Adapted from American Test Kitchen, this is my new favorite pasta dish!

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb orecchiette pasta (any smaller pasta will work like penne)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • juice of half a lemon

Instructions

  1. Dissolve 1.5 tsp salt and the baking soda in 4 tsp of water in a medium bowl. Add pork and fold gently to combine; let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 1/2 tsp rosemary, the nutmeg, and 1 1/2 tsp pepper to pork and smear with a rubber spatula until well combined, 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer the pork mixture to a plate sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and form into a large patty. Put a large pot of salted water on high for the pasta.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until water beads when splashed on it. Add patty and cook without moving it until the bottom is browned, at least 3 minutes. Flip the patty (cut it in half if you need to) and continue to cook until the other side is well browned, about another 3 minutes (the pork will not be fully cooked). Transfer sausage to cutting board, and chop into 1/8- to 1/4-inch pieces. Transfer sausage to bowl and add cream. Set aside.
  4. By this time, the water should be boiling. Add pasta and cook according to the package to reach al dente. Reserve at least a cup of cooking water before draining.
  5. While the pasta cooks, return the skillet you used to cook the pork with all the yummy brown bits to medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a sprinkle of salt (no oil needed); cook, allowing all the moisture to come out of the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are nearly dry, stir in the remaining garlic, remaining rosemary, and pepper to taste; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until completely evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in sausage-cream mixture and up to ¾ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and simmer until meat is cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add Pecorino to the skillet and mix in until smooth. Add parsley, lemon juice, and drained pasta to the skillet and toss well to coat. Before serving, adjust consistency with remaining reserved cooking water as needed and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

  • Orecchiette is really fun in this dish, but penne, rigatoni, and even elbows would work just fine!
  • Really try to get a good crispy crust on that sausage!
  • Fresh herbs are preferred, but dried would easily work as well.
  • No need for oil when browning the pork or when sweating the mushrooms, but by all means, add some if you want.

Now that I got that out of the way, on to life updates! I looked through my photos to see what I’ve been up to these last few months because it’s quite a blur. So, here goes…

Random Life Updates

my boys on the beach

After the Mothers-Sons trip in June, we took our yearly trek to the Jersey Shore. This is my favorite family tradition, and we got in all the selfies.

A couple of weeks later, The Husband took me to Philly for my Birthday weekend to see Cake.

It was a fantastic weekend that I didn’t have to plan. I don’t think he even realized it, but it was my favorite birthday to date, and that’s saying a lot when you turn forty-friggin’-seven!

After our trip-filled summer, it was time to say goodbye to this guy who we MOVED INTO THE DORMS!

And now I’m the mom sporting the college gear of her child.

mom in Salisbury gear

It’s getting easier, but this stage of parenting is the absolute hardest so far! Diapers and sleepless nights–hard. Terrible twos and toddler tantrums–hard. Motivating school-aged children–hard. Managing the teenage years–hard. Pushing your kid out of the nest to begin their own life–HARD AF and scary and emotional and somehow rewarding.

With The College Kid out of the house, The Middle Schooler was solo on the first day of school this year.

Since school started, life has been absolutely insane.

I’m still bartending.

Mostly because I love it, but I had to cut my hours to just one day a week. It’s simply too much when I’m teaching full-time, and I was starting to burn out.

Let’s see, other fun updates…

I don’t cook as much anymore, but when I do, I like to really get into it.

Chicken burrito night

I will always find cooking therapeutic. That’s why I made the Pasta alla Norcina last night.

pasta all Norcina

It was a long ass week, and all I wanted to do was blast music and be left alone in my kitchen.

Speaking of, The College Kid came home one weekend because he said he wanted to cook with me! At least that’s what he said. I mean, talk about tugging at my heartstrings.

So he came home, and we made an amazing meal together.

The Husband and I have also been carving some time out for ourselves. We recently dressed up as our Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace for a fun night out with friends a few weeks back.

This was on my bucket list for a while now (considering seeing Pulp Fiction in the movie theatre was our first date!), so I went all out.

The wig has also inspired me to grow my hair out a little.

I’m not sure I’ll have the patience to get it that long, but I stopped using clippers and will see how it grows.

The only other thing that is coming to mind to share is about my training.

I have been obsessed for a while now, but it’s gotten out of control since joining my gym’s barbell club earlier this year.

I competed in my first-ever weightlifting meet in August, and I’m registering for both the Baltimore Open and USA Masters Weightlifting Nationals in Baton Rouge in April.

I know I won’t be breaking any records, but I am enjoying the pursuit of getting stronger and have come so far! If you are interested, I post some videos now and then on TikTok, but I’m not that consistent. It’s really whenever I’m inspired and have the time.

I am back on all the social media channels after a short hiatus. I struggle to find the healthy balance of using social media to connect, but I not feeling absolutely tied to it. I am often lonely at work (I have no office mates or department on my campus), and it’s sometimes the only outlet I have to connect with people who aren’t needy students.

I’ve learned to use it only when it serves me. So I’ll ignore it for days and then get back on to connect when I can. It’s working for the most part.

Phew, I think that’s about it. I’ll leave you with this awesome picture of the fur babies.

Irish and Marsh are still frenemies. She’s gotten quite grumpy in her old age, and he’s still trying to wear her down after nearly five years. You won’t see them much closer than they are in that photo.

Okay, I’m off to make dinner on this glorious fall day.

I hope you are well!

One reply on “A Must-Share Pasta Recipe and Random Life Updates”

Love all of this!! Thank you so much for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it 😘

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