spicy 6hr pork ragu with fennel


pasta + sauce

1 lb rigatoni, bucatini or spaghetti

1 lb of ground pork

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

3 sticks of celery

5 cloves of garlic

3 carrots

3 tbsp of fennel seed

2 tbsp chilli flakes

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup white wine

4 cups chicken stock

1 large can of tomatoes




4 slices of day old bread / half a baguette

handful parsley

1 clove of garlic

1 tbsp lemon zest


begin by adding the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and fennel seed to a food processor and pulse until is forms a chunky paste. it doesn’t have to be too fine here.

next add the olive oil to a large dutch oven over medium heat (or any heavy bottomed deep oven-safe dish) and then add the pork to begin browning. this should take between 5-7 minutes. It should be browned but not burnt, so keep a close eye.

remove the browned pork from the pan and set aside in a separate dish. remove some of the rendered fat from the pan leaving approximately 1 tbsp of fat. add in all of the pulsed vegetables, chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste. continue to slowly sauté for 3-4 minutes.

next add the tomato paste to mixture, stir to combine and continue to cook on low until then tomato paste turns a deeper red color, this should only take 1 minute or so.

next add the white wine and stir for 1-2 minutes until the alcohol cooks off. add in the chicken stock, can of tomatoes—you can break up the whole tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pan or with a wooden spoon once in the mixture. season everything to taste again with salt and pepper.

give everything a good stir, pop the lid on the pot and set heat to low. cook like this for 6hrs, checking and stirring every hour. if needed, you can add some water if the sauce begins to look dry (it shouldn’t do this if the heat is on low).

before serving—blitz the day old bread up in a food processor with the parsley, garlic and lemon zest.

then add the breadcrumb mixture to a frying pan on low heat with 1 tsp of olive oil. toast the breadcrumbs for 1-2 minutes, keeping a very close eye. they should turn a golden brown and the garlic should be fragrant.

cook your pasta of choice according to instructions, i chose rigatoni. reserve one cup of the pasta water. drain and add the pasta to the pork mixture and stir vigorously to combine. add a splash of pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

serve in your favourite bowl, with a handful of the breadcrumb mixture on top. some of them will melt into the sauce and some will stay crunchy as you take each bite. so delicious!