No need to simmer away for hours on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or spending time finely chopping the aromatics! This speedy pork ragu comes together easily in under an hour with simple ingredients and a few shortcuts. It’s comfort food without too much work!
Why this Pork ragu Works ✔️✔️✔️
A few recipe highlights that might win you over:
- Blended up aromatics: No chopping or dicing required here! Pull out your food processor or stand blender to make quick work of preparing your battuto (finely diced aromatics). The veggies blend up into a super-fine mixture that melts into the ragu sauce in little time.
- Perfect for Busy Weeknights: Just like the original recipe inspiration this one is based off, this is a super easy meal that comes together in about 30 minutes which is much faster than more authentic ragu recipes.
- Simple Ingredients: No need to rush out to the grocery store to buy a bottle of red wine. Basic ingredients come together to pack in a TON of flavor in this rich tomato sauce.
What’s New & Why
I originally shared this pork ragu recipe back in December 2017. While it is a fairly popular recipe I couldn’t help making a few changes to the recipe card to make an even better pasta.
- Images: New photos including step-by-step pictures to make it easier to follow along.
- Tomato Paste: Adds a richer tomato flavor.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Increased the amount from 1 tablespoon to 3.
- Reserved Pasta Water: Add some of the starchy pasta water to the meat sauce to create a thicker, silkier sauce that clings to the pasta better.
- Blend veggies: combine carrot, spring onion, celery, garlic and chili pepper in a food processor and blend into a greenish/brownish paste.
- Sauté vegetable medley: Add the blended up aromatics to a large skillet and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Season pork: In a large bowl combine the ground pork, salt, fennel and oregano and mix until well combined.
- Brown the meat: Add the pork mixture to the frying pan. Cook about 5-7 minutes to brown the pork until no pink remains.
- Make meat sauce: Add vinegar and tomato paste. Stir and cook a couple of minutes then add water and canned tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid reduces/thickens into a sauce.
- Boil pasta: While simmering the sauce, cook the pasta according to package directions. Cooking time will vary based on pasta
- Before you drain the pasta, save some of the cooking water to add at the end.
- Add pasta: Add the drained pasta to the pan. Mix together then taste and season as needed. Add fresh herbs and parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!
Substitutions and Additions
- Instead of ground pork: Swap out the pork mince for sausages. Just make sure to remove the casing first. You can also make this with a different type of meat like ground beef or turkey.
- Use a different pasta: Feel free to use your favorite pasta in place of the penne. I used penne because it’s almost always easy to find in the gluten free aisle. Try this with spaghetti noodles, tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta instead.
- Tomato Types: Fire-roasted tomatoes in place of regular canned tomatoes are a great option if you can find them. I’ve also made this pasta using crushed tomatoes and whole peeled tomatoes (from a can). Both come out great so use whatever you’ve got on hand.
- Stock/Broth: Instead of water, use beef or chicken stock for a super rich flavor. I recommend using a low sodium stock and maybe even leave out the salt in the pork though.
More Easy Dinner Recipes Like This:
Gluten free pastas:
- One Pot Ground Turkey Pasta
- Za’atar Spiced Pasta With Chickpeas And Spinach
- Lemon Zucchini Pasta With Garlic Chili Breadcrumbs
- Leek And Mushroom Pasta
- Red Pesto Pasta With Chili Kale
- Golden Pork Lettuce Wraps
- Taiwanese Minced Pork
- Cider Braised Pork With Apple & Onions
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Let me know if you try this pork ragu! Leave a comment and review with your thoughts. I always appreciate the feedback and serving suggestions that you come up with!
- 1.5 lb ground pork mince (about 10% fat)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt + more to salt the pasta water
- 3 large spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 large celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 red chilli, deseeded (type of chili up to you)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
- 10 ounces dried gluten free penne (or pasta shape of your choosing)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (50g)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (45 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (15 oz | 425g)
- 1 cup water (240 ml)
- fresh herbs like basil, parsley, thyme or oregano
- grated parmesan cheese
- chili flakes
- In a mixing bowl: combine ground pork, salt, fennel and oregano. Mix thoroughly then set aside.
- Add spring onions, carrots, celery, chili pepper and garlic cloves to a high-powered blender or food processor. Pulse the veggies in 5-10 second intervals it until very finely broken down.
- Warm olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the blended up vegetables to the hot oil and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the pork to the pan. Cook over a medium-high heat, about 5-10 minutes until no pink remains.
- Stir in tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Cook 1-2 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to gently loosen up any bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the canned tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer and let cook 10-15 minutes. Stir every so often.
- While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente according to packet instructions. Before draining, carefully scoop about 1 cup of the pasta water (240ml) and add to the meat sauce.
- Once the sauce has reduced and thickened, turn off the heat. Add the cooked pasta and mix everything together until fully combined.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Add any additional toppings you might enjoy (grated parmesan, fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, etc) and serve.
- Tomatoes: You can use whole peeled tomatoes (from a can) or chopped tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes, make sure to break them down with a wooden spoon.
- Pork Substitute: Instead of pork you can make this using ground beef or turkey. You can also use sausages, but makes sure to remove the casing and omit the added salt.