Pork Ragu Puttanesca

Ragù sauce is a cornerstone of Italian cuisine. Made with ground meat, tomatoes, onions, and red wine, it’s often viewed as the hallmark of a truly excellent osteria: If the ragù is up to par at an osteria or trattoria, gourmands know that the rest of the menu promises standout dishes.

If you think authentic ragù can only be had in Italia or in Los Angeles’ finest Italian restaurants, think again. With this recipe, you’ll create a ragù in your home that could impress in L.A., or Rome, or Naples, or Florence, or anywhere else in this yummy world of ours.

Pork Ragu Puttanesca
Pork Ragu Puttanesca

This recipe calls for the ragù to be served over pappardelle, broad and flat noodles that are perfectly designed to catch the thick sauce. However, you can substitute pappardelle with virtually any pasta of your choosing. Wide fettuccine, one of pappardelle’s close cousins, would make for an excellent choice. The same can be said for penne, ziti, macaroni, or spaghetti – it’s all up to you:

Pork Ragu Puttanesca

Print Recipe

Serves 8


3 pounds boneless, Bristol Farms skinless pork shoulder
Coarse-ground salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped parsley, packed
2 pounds pappardelle
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving


Slice the pork shoulder into four roughly eve large pieces. Then, season with salt on all sides.

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat and brown each piece of pork on all sides for approximately four minutes per side. Work in batches, if necessary. Then, transfer the pork to a slow cooker.

Reduce burner to medium heat and add anchovy paste, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add tomato paste, stir, and scrape browned bits for roughly 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add capers, olives, wine, red pepper flakes, dried herbs, and black pepper to taste, and stir.

Add sauce to slow cooker and cook for 9 hours. If the pork has not reached full doneness and tenderness, cook for an additional hour.

Once done, shred the pork using two forks. Pour in tomatoes (with juice), add parsley, season to taste, and serve over pasta.


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