The Fork Ran Away With The Spoon With This Pork Ragu

When we visited Italy last year my hubby became addicted to Wild Boar Ragu. If he saw it on a menu, he ordered it! And I have to admit, I stole a few bites and it was always very flavorful. Back in the US, we don’t have easy access to wild boar, well, at least where we live. So if we want to try to recreate this wonderful ragu, pork is our next best option.

The richness of a ragu sauce just lends itself to a stormy evening or weekend meal. It goes with almost any meal from hardy spaghetti to stews. I’ve adapted this recipe with two cooking methods to fit our busy lifestyles today. I also made this to bridge the kitchen construction gap (day 12) and used the slow cooker.

I used a pork butt with bone in, but boneless or pork shoulder would work well too.

This basic recipe can be used as a base for stews. Just add your favorite veggies like carrots, and potatoes. For more uses of this pork roast see 4 Different Meals With One Pork Roast

I thought as a ragu for pasta dishes it needed more Italian seasoning, but that might be just me. 

Serves 6

Pork Ragu

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  • 2 1/2 pounds pork roast (butt or shoulder)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small pat of butter
  • 1 28-ounce canned tomatoes with juice (whole or diced)
  • 1 cup red wine (and more for the cook!)
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • Small handful of fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Sriracha or Tabasco)


  1. Salt and pepper the roast.
  2. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven or frypan and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides.
  4. Add onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for about a minute.
  5. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel and hot sauce and bring to a boil.
  6. Cooking method 1Cover and put in a 325 degree oven.
  7. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomatoes) if needed).
  8. Meat is done when it's practically falling apart.
  9. Cooking method 2Transfer meat and pan contents to slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours.
  10. When meat is cooked, put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to the pot and blend into sauce.
  11. Cook pasta to al dente. Add to ragu and mix pasta to completely cover with sauce. Or place pasta in a dish and put the ragu sauce on top.
  12. Sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan.


Use a substantial pasta with this recipe - pappardalle, bucatini, or other sturdy pasta or your choice. This sauce freezes well. When cooked in a crockpot sauce can be a bit thin. Thicken with a little cornstarch and simmer on stovetop uncovered for 15-20 minutes.


Calories: 560 cal
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fat: 32 g
Sodium: 299 g
Cholesterol: 190 g
Protein: 53 g
Fiber: 2 g

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