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Recipe: Pork and Fennel Ragu*

Recipe: Pork and Fennel Ragu*

Posted On: 29 June

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This ragu is one of Rebecca’s favourites.  It is all about coaxing the flavour from every ingredient through long, slow cooking.  The result is a super-tasty rich sauce to serve over polenta, gnocchi or any kind of pasta.

This will be sure to warm you up on these chilly winter evenings of late.


  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) really nice Italian sausages (about 4 sausages- a mixture of pork and veal if possible)
  • 200g (7 oz) pancetta, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) full-bodied red wine
  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) tins whole tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (60g) tomato paste (concentrated puree)
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable stock


1. Preheat the oven to 150c (300f).

2. Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole dish over medium heat.

3. Cook the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.

4. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for a couple more minutes.

5. Crumble the sausage meat into the pan, discarding the casings.

6. Add the pancetta and increase the heat to medium-high.  Cook, stirring often, until the sausage meat and pancetta are browned.

7. Pour in the red wine and let the liquid reduce a little.

8. Now pour in the tomatoes, tomato paste and stock and stir well.

9. Season with salt and pepper to taste

10. Place in the oven and cook, uncovered, for 3 hours (give it a stir a couple of times).  By this point the ragu will have reduced right down.

Serves 4

*recipe extracted from Sophie Hansen’s cookbook “A Basket by the Door”

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