Since Totti’s opened in Bondi in 2018, it’s been a hit – to the extent that it’s spawned Bar Totti’s and Totti’s Rozelle in Sydney, and an outpost in Lorne, Victoria. There’s also spin-off sandwich and pizza takeaway Oti. All four are imbued with the fast, loose and fun ethos executive chef Mike Eggert brought to his former ventures, Pinbone, Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco and Good Luck Pinbone.

From day dot, Totti’s fluffy bread has dominated Instagram feeds and necessitated repeat orders – but its house-made pastas have also left their mark. And probably none more so than this milk-braised pork ragout, which has been served with a range of pasta shapes over the years. So, we asked for the recipe.

“This sauce has been a Totti’s classic from day one,” Eggert tells Broadsheet. “It’s a simple white ragout that you can eat all year round. Pork belly is so full of flavour and gelatine, it gives the sauce a rich, creamy mouthfeel. It also lets you go pretty hard with the chilli and fennel, because it can take the big, robust seasonings.”

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And making it at home brings an extra bonus: you can adapt it to even better suit your tastes.

“Feel free to throw some chopped up smoky bacon, salami or prosciutto into the braise when it’s cooking for a little extra depth, or if you have any rinds left from parmesan, that’s perfect to flavour the sauce,” says Eggert. “At Totti’s we pair this sauce with any of our house-made egg pastas, [and we put it] inside lasagne or even in the centre of our arancini at Oti.

“To serve the sauce, toss it through your favourite pasta shape, finish with the 24-month-aged parmesan grated liberally on top and, if you like it spicy like me, then a good drizzle of Calabrian chilli sauce or any chilli sauce you have might have buried at the back of the fridge or your cupboard.”

You’ll need a muslin cloth for this recipe.

Totti’s campanelle with milk-braised pork and chilli
Serves 6–8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2.5 hours

½ cinnamon stick
2 star anise

2 bay leaves
1 clove

Olive oil
2 onions, peeled and diced

6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1kg pork-belly mince, coarsely ground

200ml white wine
2 tsp toasted fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
500ml milk

6–8 serves of egg pasta (campanelle or pasta of your choice, about 70–100g per person)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

100ml cream
24-month-aged parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to taste

Chilli oil, to taste

Wrap cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves and clove in a muslin cloth and tie with a string.

Heat some olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and saute onions and garlic until translucent.

Add pork mince, and stir and separate with a wooden spoon for about 5–10 minutes. There’s no need to colour, but if it does that’s okay. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes.

Add fennel seeds, chilli flakes, milk and muslin wrap.

Reduce slowly for about 2 hours, until thick and rich, and the pork is tender and almost falling apart.

Just before the sauce is done, cook the pasta until al dente.

Remove muslin wrap from the sauce, season with salt and pepper, and stir the cream through to finish.

Divide the pasta between bowls, spoon over the sauce, and serve with parmesan cheese and chilli oil.