Gnocchi with pork ragu

Gnocchi with pork ragu.
Gnocchi with pork ragu. Photo: Marco Del Grande

In Italian cooking, a ragu is a meat-based condiment primarily for pasta dishes. There are two distinct types. In the first, the meat is minced or hand-cut. In the second, it is cooked in one piece. Both are simmered long and slow to develop flavour.


6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2½ kg piece pork shoulder,

bone in, skinned

200g pancetta, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and cut into

5mm cubes

2 onions, peeled and cut into

5mm cubes

1 celery heart, finely chopped

1 sprig of rosemary, de-stemmed

2 large sprigs of sage, de-stemmed

4 cloves of garlic

2L dry red wine

1 cinnamon stick

500ml veal or chicken stock

750ml tomato puree

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gnocchi or pasta, to serve


Heat half the olive oil in a large braising pan and fry pork shoulder, turning until well browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining oil to pan and lightly fry pancetta, carrot, onion and celery for 2-3 minutes.

Finely chop rosemary, sage and garlic. Add to pan and fry for 2 minutes.

Return meat and fry for 1 minute more. Add wine, cinnamon stick, stock and tomato puree, simmer and season to taste. Simmer very gently for 2-3 hours until meat comes away from the bone easily.

Remove meat and set aside. Remove cinnamon stick and keep simmering liquid until it reduces by half.

Meanwhile, strip meat from bone and shred.

Return meat to sauce and season to taste.

Serve with gnocchi (pictured) or pasta.


To make your own gnocchi, try this recipe.