Fusilli Bucati Corti with Rosmarino Maiale Monday Sauce

I called this Monday sauce because it's easy to throw together even on the most taxing of days, and it is guaranteed to brighten a speedy weeknight meal. There is the idea of a ragu della Domenica, or Sunday sauce (sometimes called Sunday gravy) in Italy. To make it, a tireless nonna slaves over a slow-bubbling cauldron all day. This bright and straightforward sauce is the opposite--it takes just a few minutes to prepare--but the punch it packs in flavor will rival the best of the long-simmering/suffering ragus.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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12 ounces fusilli bucati corti pasta

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter 

1 pound ground pork

1 teaspoon smoky paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped  

3 garlic cloves, minced  

Leaves from 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped  

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup hot, starchy pasta water  

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

One 8-ounce tub mozzarella ciliegine (small balls), drained  


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork, salt, paprika, and onion powder and cook for 4 minutes, until the pork is browned, stirring with a flat-end wooden spoon to break up clumps. Add the kale and cook for 2 minutes, until wilted, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and rosemary, and cook for 2 minutes, just long enough to unlock the aromatics. Add the vinegar and wine and use the wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the pasta water and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 2 minutes.  
  3. Toss with pasta and ciliegine 1 minute before serving so that the ciliegine retain some of their shape but soften and stretch out a little.  
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