Despite the dorky name, this is a delicious, creamy and spicy pasta dish with crisp pork added to boot.

Recipe copied without permission from Jane Butel's Hotter Than Hell cookbook.

Perky Porky Pigtails

A distant (and very feisty) cousin of fettuccine Alfredo, this full-flavored dish is one you can never serve often enough--if my family is any indication! They tasted it for the first time when I created it for this book; now it's one of their favorites. Serve with side dishes of Parmesan cheese and caribe and a crisp green salad with a tart dressing.


     2 Tbsp  unsalted butter
     2       large cloves garlic, minced
     1/2 lb  boneless pork steak (cut 1 inch thick), cut
             in strips 2 to 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
     1 Tbsp  caribe (crushed Northern New Mexico red chile),
             or to taste.
     1 lb    dried fusilli (corkscrew spaghetti)
     1/2 cup unsalted butter
     1/2 cup heavy cream
     1 cup   freshly grated Parmesan cheese
     1 Tbsp  ground pure California mild red chile
     1/2 cup Italian-style pimento-pepper picalilli


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet; add garlic and cook until just beginning to turn golden. Then add pork strips and cook quickly, turning often, about 5 minutes or until pork begins to brown. Sprinkle with caribe and continue to cook until meat is quite browned and crisp. Remove from skillet; keep warm in a 250 degree (F) oven along with 4 to 8 serving plates. Following package directions, cook pasta in boiling water just until tender to bite. Drain well, return to cooking pan and cover. In skillet used to cook pork, melt 1/2 cup butter; add cream and 1/2 cup cheese. Cook until bubbly, stirring to free browned bits from bottom of skillet. Stir in ground chile, taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle sauce over pasta, add pork strips and picalilli and toss gently, sprinkling with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Continue to stir carefully until well blended. Serve hot, on warmed plates. Makes about 8 appetizer servings, 4 to 6 main-dish servings.
Ed Santiago