This is my perfect ragu! Pork shoulder is braised in white wine and milk with fennel seeds, load of herbs and pancetta. It creates the most luscious and savoury sauce that I know you will love. Perfect with any pasta shape, fresh or dried.
What is a white pork ragu?
A white ragu is made with white wine and milk rather than the more common tomatoes and red wine. You all know I am a buttery sauce kind of girl and I tend to favour a creamier sauce than a tomato one. Cooking meat in milk makes it so so tender and this sauce really is just all kinds of delicious, I just can't recommend trying it enough! If a tomato ragu is more your style then check out this my beef cheek ragu.
Tips for making this ragu
- Make it the day before. This is a tip for any slow cooked pasta sauce. It will only improve with time so even two days before is great. It will solidify in the fridge but will loosen once heated and that is why I like to add some cream at the end. A slosh of pasta water is also your best friend here.
- I like to brown the pork and start the sofrito (the onions, carrot and celery) at the same time so that I can just get it in the oven quicker. Do them at separate times if it seems too hectic! I have two pans at the back browning pork and the sofrito going at the front.
- Don't tip out any fat that has rendered from browning the pork, I like to tip it into the onions. We aren't making a salad here so just embrace that fatty flavour!
- Undercook your pasta just ever so slightly so that it can hang out in the sauce for a minute or two.
- Pasta gets cold quick, one of my biggest tips when cooking for friends or family is heating your plates or bowls. I throw them in a warm oven for 10mins or you can put a few tablespoons of water in each one, stack them up and microwave for a minute.
Pork shoulder - I use boned pork shoulder and cut it into 4 -5cm chunks. Leave the fat on as you can always discard some of it later.
White wine - I used a sauvignon blanc, anything dry will work.
Pancetta - I buy it from Farro in a big piece then dice. You should be able to find it in any specialty food store but feel free to substitute with chopped bacon.
Herbs - thyme, rosemary and sage are my favourite trio here and please try not to substitute for dried, it's never the same.
Chicken stock - I prefer the taste of chicken stock but feel free to use whatever stock you like.
Lemon zest - finishing a rich meat sauce with lemon zest is perfection! It creates a little burst of freshness and cuts through the richness so well.
What pasta will work the best?
I have made a pappardelle and I have a helpful reel on instagram showing you how to do it! Honestly, any shape will work you could make a hand rolled shape like my hand rolled gnocchi sardi or homemade orecchiette. Alternatively any dried pasta will work perfectly.