Sunday, July 03, 2016

Pasta with red sauce is one of my favorite meals ever. I could eat it every single day, no problem at all. This is a recipe that my brother Rick shared with me years ago, and I've adapted it to make the most incredible and flavorful pork bolognese. 

Small dice some onion and add it to a pan with olive oil over medium heat.

Mince up some gah-lic.

Using a mortar and pestle, crush up some whole fennel. You could also use a coffee grinder.

While you're at it, add some oregano. Let those flavors loose!

To the pan of onions, add some ground pork, the garlic, the herbs, and salt & pepper.

If you're like me, you can't stand chasing ground meat around the pan to crumble it up. This is where aggression and force comes in with a potato masher!

Ah, San Marzano tomatoes. You are so beautiful...and delicious. Open these babies up and squish (this is a technical term) the whole tomatoes by hand.

Add the tomatoes to the pork mixture and simmah simmah for however long you've got. In this case, a half hour.

Grab some fresh basil from your garden. Oh, you don't have fresh basil in your garden? You should really get on that.

Chiffonade the basil (stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice), and add it to the sauce.

Now add some sugar. It will add a nice sweetness and balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. Trust me.

Now plate this up with the pasta of your choice. Something with ridges, like penne or rigatoni would be great with this - but I was feeling like spaghetti.

And here is a picture of the wedge salad we had with our bolognese. Because my husband told me to take a picture of the wedge salad.



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp whole fennel
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 28 oz cans whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 10-15 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sugar to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add diced onions, sauté until soft and translucent. Grind whole fennel using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Add fennel, oregano, garlic, salt & pepper to the pan; cook over medium-high heat until pork is cooked through. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you add. Cook the sauce for at least 20 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Chiffonade the fresh basil and add it to the sauce. A few minutes before serving, add a dash of sugar. Serve over the pasta of your choice with parmesan cheese.

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