The flavors of Chinese dan dan noodles meet Italian pasta in this spicy crossover dish. Wide ribbons of pappardelle are ideal for clinging to a hearty five-spice-scented pork ragù, showcasing a wide spectrum of salty-sweet-creamy-spicy flavors. Freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns give the dish its distinctive tongue-tingling character while chile crisp adds heat and extra texture.
Toast Sichuan peppercorns in a small skillet over medium-high heat, tossing often, until slightly darkened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice mill or mortar and pestle and let cool; finely grind.
Stir ground Sichuan peppercorns, sesame paste, vinegar, sugar, 2 Tbsp. chile crisp, and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce in a small bowl to combine; set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add pork, five-spice powder, and remaining 1 tsp. soy sauce to pan, breaking meat up into pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook, undisturbed, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, breaking up meat into smaller pieces, until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add Sichuan peppercorn mixture; set aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute short of al dente. Using tongs, transfer pasta to skillet with sauce and pour in ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook, tossing gently, until sauce is creamy and clings to pasta, about 1 minute. Drizzle in remaining 1 Tbsp. chile crisp.
Divide pasta among plates and top with peanuts and scallions.
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This was A-MAZING!!! I tripled the sauce, only added 1/4 t of the ground Sichuan peppercorns because we are spicy-hot wimps though I think I could've used more and it would've been ok - next time because there WILL BE a next time!! I only had a 1/2lb of ground beef so I roughly chopped up about 6 oz of mushrooms and cooked them with the meat so that there were lovely little crispy bits of mushroom in there. YUMMY and made the meat go farther; a good trick to stretch your food budget. Also, I didn't add the noodles to the pan, just some of the pasta water because we weren't going to finish the whole pan and I don't like soggy, mushy noodles. This is the best Chinese dish I've ever made.
Another vote for more sauce! The flavors were excellent and the substitutions suggested for more everyday ingredients one might have around the kitchen (tahini, rice vinegar), were helpful. Next time I would try it with less pasta and more liquid. Added almost 1 cup of pasta water this time but it wasn't enough and made the flavors less pronounced. Loved the peanuts for texture and the scallions for freshness. Also would add more peppercorns.
Los Angeles, CA
The best spaghetti and meat sauce I have ever had--and there is not a no. 2 iwhich is close!
We absolutely loved this..but agree needs more sauce so made the whole recipe but only used 9 oz of Rana pasta Pappardelle..actually think you could triple the sauce ..but it was amazing! Definitely making again..
This recipe was certainly better than I expected! As other reviewers wrote, doubling the sauce is a must if using 1lb of the pasta. Honestly, doubling any good sauce is a must. Will definitely add this recipe to my list.
Awesome..made the sauce and recipe as is but only used 9 oz of fresh pappardelle Rana..awesome dish..paired it with a salad with Carrot ginger dressing like you get at the Japanese restaurant...will definitely make again 😋
As other reviewers said, double the sauce to coat 1lb pappardelle. I also added 1 inch grated ginger and 2 tbsp of the five spices powder (by mistake) to the sauce mix , and it tastes good. Will definitely make the recipe again.
Los Angeles, CA
I'm generally not in the "double this, double that" club, but in this case it fits (as others have said). In my case I just reduced the pappardelle to 250g (a bit more than half a pound) which made three reasonably sized portions. Kept everything else the same. Even with half the noodles it still had less meat per plate than what you see in the illustration. So yes, either reduce the noodles or increase everything else. Otherwise, really good and it comes together very quickly. Will definitely put in the rotation. (BTW, I think this would work just as well with ground chicken or turkey, especially if it was ground dark meat.)
This recipe is perfect IF you just use half the mount of pasta (serving2). Tried it last night with my boyfriend and we were both very into the numbing Sichuan peppercorns. Absolutely delicious; going to try it next with impossible meat!
Christine Mai Nguyen
Los Angeles, CA
This was excellent - however, I tripled the amount of sauce (although only doubled the Chile Crisp) and used a bit more pork. I also used more than 1/2 cup pasta water. The flavor was excellent, but it would not have had enough sauce with just the amount specified in the recipe.
Didn't have Sichuan peppercorns but used half peppercorns and coriander seeds instead. Will double the sauce recipe next time or more. It wasn't present at all or coat the noodles. I will try again as it was an easy recipe.
Wowow super tasty. Like others, I recommend making about 2x the amount of sauce for the og amount of pasta. You can also use more ground pork and I promise it won't be overkill. Also, I recommend using at least twice the amount of peppercorns in the sauce. We love a good kick. Also, you can easily make a vegan version of this by subbing mushrooms for the meat and chopping them nice and tiny. The pork isn't really the star of the dish, but more so are the flavor and texture of the sauce, along with the texture of the pasta.
So good! Didn’t have Szechuan peppercorns so I used some birds eye chili powder I had on hand. Also swapped ground chicken for pork. Pan roasted the peanuts before adding in at the end and added generous green onions for some brightness. Cutting out the Szechuan part in the beginning, the whole thing was ready in 20 minutes.
Made this last night-- it was good, but I'd make a few adjustments next time: 1. Our papardelle was on the thicker end, and it was overkill; next time I would find a thinner papardelle or use linguine/fettuccini 2. There wasn't as much sauce as I would have expected; next time, I would 2x it and follow the recipe as normal (i.e., only add the correct amount to the cooked pork/noodles at first), then add more sauce as needed. Even with the pasta water, this wasn't enough. Overall a good dish if you can't find good dan dan nearby! 3. I would also add more sichuan peppers
This recipe is great. We had ground lamb so used that instead. It was still delicious. I’d probably add more Sichuan peppers next time.
Jackson Heights, NY