Spaghetti with Pork Ragu

Italian comfort food of tomato and pork shoulder ragu simmering on the stove is perfect for the fall dish. This Italian specialty is one of my favorite, ground pork shoulder ( so much flavor), slow cooked in tomato, wine and herbs is your ultimate sauce. And if you know me I like to experiment, so I decided instead the traditionally braised pork shoulder I made it with ground pork shoulder.

Warm and spicy ragu, a delicious sauce served over spaghetti that’s easy to make at home with the right ingredients.

I love this recipe and you will love it too. The sweetness from the carrots, the tanginess from tomatoes , the fresh aroma from the basil and the amazing flavor from the Pecorino-Romano cheese and of course the salty taste of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Ragu is very popular way to slow cook the meat in tomatoes sauce. Its very rich and flavorful, and the focus of the dish is to showcase the meat. Unlike the Bolognese recipe, that is finished with touch of cream or milk , here you don’t use it.

It doesnt matter if you are in Italy- dining in nice restaurant or at home, I guarantee you that you will love this recipe and will become a pro of making it and showcasing your chef skills to you family and friends.

You need:

Ground Pork Shoulder2 pounds
Carrots2 medium size
Onion1 Medium size
Garlic Cloves6-8
Celery Ribs2
White Wine1 cup
Bay Leave1-2
Tomato Paste 2 tbsp.
Fresh Or Can tomatoes28 oz.
Olive Oil2 tbsp.
Dry Thyme1 tbsp.
Dry Oregano 1 tbsp.
Fresh Parsley2 tbsp.
Fresh Basil2 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Chicken Stock1 1/2 cups
Red Crush Pepper1/2 tbsp.
Onion Powder1 tbsp.
Garlic Powder 1 tbsp.
Parmigiano- Reggiano Cheese 3/4 cup
Spaghetti1 box


Start with grounding the pork shoulder. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or a 5-qt Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground Pork and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the meat until it start getting this nice golden brown color.

This process is call brown the meat and its pure flavor. If necessary do it in batches, other wise you will overcrowd the pan and instead to brown it you will boiled and that is not what you want. In mean time while the ground pork is cooking, finely chopped your carrots, onion, celery and minced your garlic.

After a few minutes and when you see the meat is getting nice brown color, add the vegetables and then all the aromatics and seasonings. Sauté for a 8-10 minutes over medium high temperature until the wine is and then add the tomato puree and stir constantly, so you don’t burn it , deglaze the pan with the white wine, cook for 4-5 minutes until the wine is almost completely absorbed by the vegetables and meat.

Add the crushed tomatoes or fresh chopped tomatoes, the stock or water if you don’t have. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 –1 1/2 hours.

If the ragu begins to reduce too much, feel free to add in a splash more water and/or chicken stock and reduce the heat further if necessary.

While waiting the last 30 minutes to finish cooking the ragu start making the pasta.

Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked to al dente according to package directions. Carefully dip a liquid measuring cup into the pot, reserving about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water, and set aside. Carefully drain the spaghetti – do NOT rinse it!

Add the cooked pasta to the pot with the braised pork ragu sauce, tossing to coat. The pork ragu should evenly coat the pasta. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if the ragu needs to loosen up a little, add in the parmesan cheese and also I add pecorino as well. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, allowing the cheese to meld and the pasta to absorb some of the ragu.

Plate the pasta ragu into individual pasta bowls, topping with additional grated parmesan, chopped fresh parsley and basil and add more crushed red pepper as desired. Serve immediately.


Equipment you may find useful!

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