1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron
casserole, heat the oil. Season the pork slices with salt and
pepper and brown over moderately high heat, turning once,
10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
2. Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onion, carrots, celery,
garlic, rosemary and sage to the casserole and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the cocoa powder and cook over moderate heat until the
vegetables are softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and
cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up
any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until reduced by
half, 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
3. Return the pork to the pot, nestling it into the liquid. Cover and
braise in the oven until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
4. Remove the meat and pull it into large shreds, discarding any
fat. Transfer the braising liquid and vegetables to a blender and
puree until smooth. Return the meat and sauce to the pot and stir
in the mint, parsley, crushed red pepper and butter.
5. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta
until al dente. Drain and add the pasta to the sauce; tossing over
low heat until nicely coated, about 2 minutes. Serve the pasta
in bowls, passing grated Pecorino at the table. —Vic Casanova
MAKE AHEAD The pork-cocoa sugo can be refrigerated for up to