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Rigatoni with Pork Ragu

This rigatoni with pork ragu is the ultimate fall comfort food. It’s hearty and full of flavor with a little bit of apple for sweetness and a hint of fennel. So grab a fork and get cozy, because this dish will warm your soul.

A bowl of rigatoni with pork ragu, garnished with grated pecorino romano cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

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Why you’ll love this rigatoni with pork ragu

  • It has all the comforting flavor of a slow cooked sauce, but by using ground pork, the sauce comes together in half the time.
  • There’s an intense depth of flavor in the sauce thanks to the apple, fennel and white wine that are simmered to perfection.
  • It makes a great, hearty alternative to traditional bolognese sauce that will satisfy you on the coldest of nights.
A close up of a bowl of rigatoni with pork ragu, garnished with grated pecorino romano cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

An overhead shot of a bowl of rigatoni with pork ragu, garnished with grated pecorino romano cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

How to make pork ragu

Sauté the vegetables. Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil and sauté the celery, carrot, onion and apple. Cook until the onion is translucent and tender. Then, add the garlic and cook for about one more minute.

Brown the meat. Add the ground pork and let it brown, breaking up the meat and stirring as needed until it’s no longer pink. Season with salt & pepper.

Simmer the sauce. Deglaze the pan with white wine and add the remaining ingredients. Cover and bring to a strong simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally and remove the lid during the last few minutes of cooking to allow the sauce to thicken up.

An overhead shot of a skillet full of rigatoni with pork ragu, garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

Cook the pasta. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to boiling. Salt the water and cook the rigatoni (or whatever medium sized pasta you want to use) according to the package directions for al dente.

Before draining reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain and toss with a generous portion of sauce and add pasta water as desired.

This sauce recipe makes enough for 2 pounds of pasta. Feel free to freeze half for another meal or use it all right away. Whatever works for you.

Close up of a bowl of rigatoni with pork ragu, garnished with grated pecorino romano cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

FAQs and tips on making rigatoni with pork ragu

How long will pork ragu last?

After making your ragu, you can store it in the fridge for about 4-5 days. or freeze it if you like. This recipe makes enough for 2 pounds of pasta so feel free to reserve half for another meal.

How do you thicken ragu sauce?

If you think your ragu is looking a bit watery, you should cook it down a bit by simmering the sauce uncovered until it reaches the consistency you’re looking for.

How thick should ragu be?

Your ragu sauce should be thick and chunky, like a steel-cut oatmeal. If you need to thin it out, save some of your extra pasta water to add to the ragu.

Overhead shot of two bowls of rigatoni with pork ragu garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

More savory rigatoni dishes you’ll love:

More pork pasta recipes:

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Rigatoni with Pork Ragu

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This rigatoni with pork ragu is the ultimate fall comfort food. It’s hearty and full of flavor with a little bit of apple for sweetness and a hint of fennel. So grab a fork and get cozy, because this dish will warm your soul.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large apple, cored and chopped (skin can stay on) 1 cup
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 pounds ground pork (2.5)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil and sauté the celery, carrot, onion and apple until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the ground pork and let it brown, breaking up the meat and stirring as needed. Season with salt & pepper.

  3. Deglaze the pan with white wine and add remaining ingredients. Cover and bring to a strong simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally and remove the lid during the last few minutes of cooking to allow the sauce to thicken up.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 404
  • Sugar: 7.6 g
  • Sodium: 553.2 mg
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 21.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 81.8 mg

Keywords: pork ragu, pork bolognese, pork pasta sauce, pork ragout, pasta with pork, rigatoni recipe

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