Plate & Escape: Crispy Pork Belly & Mushroom Pasta

Happy New Year, EscapeMakers! We’re excited to kick off the year with a whole new calendar of wintry and delicious Plate & Escape recipes and adventures. This week, in honor of our upcoming Local Food & Craft Beverage Tasting Showcase (scroll down for details), we did our shopping at Seaport District jewel Fulton Stall Market (FSM). FSM is a marketplace for local foods, connecting farmers and producers with the growing Lower Manhattan community, and a place we hold near and dear to our hearts here at EMHQ, as it is also the location of our “Agritourism Center.” So we did some serious shopping for a New Year feast!

The recently relocated market is filled with local goods from farm fresh produce, to canned jams and sauces, to hard cider and mead, to meats and poultry of all sorts. The first item that caught my eye was a package of fresh whole wheat pasta from Knoll Crest Farm, which produces eggs, pasta, soups, and baked goods in the Hudson Valley.

With pasta on the mind, the obvious next selection was cheese! After sampling a variety of cheeses with the fabulous and food-centric FSM staff, we landed on a semi-hard cheese from Central New York’s Harpersfield Cheese. Nutty, creamy and perfect for grating into our pasta!

With an oil-based, cheesy sauce in the works, I was drawn to the abundant freezer filled with farm-fresh meats and poultry of every variety. I picked out a small piece of pork belly, aka “Catskill Bacon,” from Catskill Food Co. in Delaware County: the perfect fatty, salty bite in our creamy pasta.

One final ingredient caught my eye as we were nearing check out: a gorgeous and wild looking package of mushrooms, referred to as the “chef’s mix” from Primordia Farms in Lambertsville, PA. Oyster mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and all kinds of funky-shaped fungi would be the perfect pairing for nutty cheese and fatty pork.


The only thing left to do was select something to wash it all down! Cider, lemonades, sparkling water, and Champagne Tea all stared back at me seductively from the case. But it was the unusual elderberry honey wine from Mysto Mead that I just had to try. And with that…I was off to the kitchen!


Check out the recipe below for farm fresh Crispy Pork Belly & Mushroom Pasta.


1 lb fresh pasta (I used whole wheat, but you can use any kind)
2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped (pro tip: clean mushrooms by wiping with damp towel; do not soak in water, as the mushrooms will absorb the liquid and become rubbery)
1/2 cup grated Harpersfield Cheese (sub any other soft, nutty, melting cheese – i.e. Gruyere)
1/2lb pork belly, sliced in 1/2″ strips
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed and left whole
salt & pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste if you prefer more/less spice)
juice of 1 lemon
parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Arrange sliced pork belly on baking sheet and rub both sides generously with salt and pepper until evenly coated.
  2. Roast pork belly for 30 minutes, or until brown and crispy on top. Turn the pork belly over and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, or until brown and crispy on top. Remove pork belly from oven, set aside on a paper towel to soak up excess grease. (Pro tip: this step should be done in advance before beginning step 3 — store up to 2 days in airtight container in the fridge)
  3. Fill large pot with water and bring to a boil. While the water is coming to temperature, add 4 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Stir the melted butter until it begins to smelly nutty and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add smashed garlic to the oil, stir gently for 1-2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and dried oregano to the garlic oil. Remove and discard the garlic cloves.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes. While the mushrooms cook, chop the pork belly slices into bits, about 1″ or so.
  5. Cook the pasta in the boiling water per package directions. While the pasta cooks, drop the pork belly bits into the mushroom mixture, stir gently.
  6. When the pasta is tender, use tongs or spaghetti spoon to transfer noodles directly from the water to the saute pan with the mushrooms and pork (pro tip: reserve pasta cooking water to be used to loosen up the noodles/sauce later). Add the grated cheese, lemon juice, and salt & pepper to taste, and toss together until the pasta is coated evenly in the butter and cheese, and the mushrooms and pork bits are dispersed throughout. If the pasta seems a bit gummy, add 1/2 cup or so of the pasta cooking water to loosen.
  7. Serve the pasta with a glass of Elderberry Honey Wine and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges (optional). Bon Appetit!


This dish was absolutely delicious! And it got us so excited about all the amazing ingredients from local farmers and producers that sit on the abundant shelves of Fulton Stall Market every single day. Visit for yourself and take home all of these ingredients to get your own plated adventure started! In addition to shopping in the market, the EscapeMaker team is super excited to be kicking off a Local Food & Craft Beverage Tasting Showcase this winter as a fundraiser for Fulton Stall Market and its producers.

We’ll be bringing together local farmers and producers, along with artisanal sips and bites, to inspire guests to visit these hard-working and impressive artisans in person. The fundraiser tasting showcase series includes 3 evening events and serves to benefit Fulton Stall Market as well as invite the South District community to discover the shop open daily (11am-6pm), it’s Sunday farmer’s market and CSA!

Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy live folk music, visit with neighbors, peruse the market and pick up local travel information to farms, wineries, and more from with’s Agritourism Pop-Up Shop inside the market.

Tasting Showcases:

Thursday, January 18th (6:00pm – 9:00pm): Local Food & Craft Beer Tasting Evening Showcase -$39
Thursday, February 8th (6:00pm – 9:00pm): Local Food & Wine Tasting Evening Showcase – $49
Thursday, March 15th (6:00pm – 9:00pm): Local Food, Cider & Spirits Tasting Evening Showcase – $39

Plus, the entire series can be purchased at a discount! Get your tickets here and support the wonderful mission of Fulton Stall Market and it’s farm fresh partners.




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