Simmer ground pork spaghetti sauce into an impossibly rich and hearty Bolognese. It's an unforgettable Sunday sauce recipe, made with plenty of fresh veggies, savory flavors, and a splash of red wine.
While I love taking shortcuts with store-bought spaghetti sauce, there's just something so comforting about making pasta sauce from scratch.
This ground pork spaghetti sauce is a bolognese-style sauce made with savory ground pork, carrots, onions, celery, crushed tomatoes, and whole milk.
Serve it over any pasta with crusty Dutch Oven Bread and, if you'd like... a big glass of Pinot Noir!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Dutch oven: Increase the cozy factor by making ground pork spaghetti sauce in a cast iron Dutch oven. It'll add to the rustic feel and ensure even heating while the sauce simmers.
- Texture: Ground pork spaghetti sauce has satisfying layers of texture, including meaty sauce, fiber-rich vegetables, and creamy whole milk.
- Flavor: Onion, garlic, tomato paste, red wine, and a pinch of sugar combine to create a well-balanced, flavorful sauce.
- One pot: The ground pork pasta sauce is made entirely in one pot, making cleanup a breeze!
Ground pork: The higher fat content in ground pork adds to the rich and savory flavor of bolognese sauce, also adding a juicy, succulent texture. Substitute ground beef for ground pork if needed.
Veggies: The mirepoix mixture of carrots, onions, and celery creates a flavorful base for the sauce. Fresh garlic cloves add a robust, earthy flavor.
Seasonings: Kosher salt, ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning blend enhance the overall taste of the ground pork pasta.
Tomato paste: Tomato paste is a concentrated form of tomatoes known for its intense tomato flavor, which will add depth and richness to the pork bolognese sauce.
Crushed tomatoes: Use unseasoned, canned, crushed tomatoes with the juice. I prefer the convenience of pre-crushed tomatoes; however, if you'd like to use canned San Marzano tomatoes, you can crush whole San Marzano tomatoes yourself.
Whole milk: Whole milk is added to the bolognese sauce to create a creamy texture and to balance out the acidity in the tomatoes. I don't recommend using reduced-fat milk as a substitute.
Sugar: A tiny amount of sugar is added to the sauce to enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and balance out the acidity.
Red wine: Red wine is another ingredient that creates depth of flavor in the sauce. Stick with dry red wine varieties like Pinot Noir, Cabernet, or Merlot.
Spaghetti: I prefer to toss ground pork pasta sauce with spaghetti, but angel hair, tagliatelle, or fettuccini would also work.
- I prefer to make ground pork pasta sauce in my enameled cast iron Dutch oven. It's non-stick, withstands high temperatures, transfers heat evenly, and has a heavy-duty lid.
- Use a large stock pot if you don't have a Dutch oven.
How to make Ground Pork Spaghetti
- Cook the pork until no pink remains.
- Sauté the veggies until fragrant.
- Add the remaining ingredients.
- Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Toss with pasta, serve, and enjoy!
Before starting the ground pork spaghetti sauce, cook the dry spaghetti according to the package instructions, then drain and set it aside.
Step 1: Heat a Dutch oven (or stock pot) over medium heat. Add the ground pork and cook until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Drain about 80% of the excess fat from the pot, then add the celery, carrots, onions, and garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Tip - Ground pork is high in fat, so you don't need to oil the pan before adding it. However, if you're worried the meat will stick to the pan, add a small amount of oil first.
Step 3: Stir the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper into the pork and vegetables, and continue to cook the mixture for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 4: Pour in the red wine while stirring the mixture and scraping up any bits stuck to the pot.
Step 5: Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and sugar and stir until well combined.
Step 6: Reduce the heat to low and stir in the whole milk.
Step 7: Cover the pot and cook over low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 8: Toss the meat sauce with cooked pasta, serve immediately, and enjoy!
- Drain excess fat left over after browning the ground pork. Since Dutch ovens are heavy and hard to lift, I drain the fat by soaking it up with a paper towel. Push the meat to the side, tilt the pot, and use a few napkins to soak up the extra grease.
- Use a food processor to chop the carrots, onion, and celery. It's a huge timesaver!
- Salt your pasta water when cooking the spaghetti. Salt infuses the pasta with flavor!
- Save about a cup of the salty pasta water before draining the cooked pasta. You can use starchy pasta water to thin out your sauce if it thickens up more than you'd like it to.
- Use sodium-free or low-sodium canned tomatoes. Double-check your labels to make sure you don't accidentally add a bunch of extra salt to the ground pork pasta sauce!
Is pork or beef better for bolognese?
Make Bolognese with ground pork, ground beef, or a combination of the two! Which option is better is based on personal preference. Both beef and pork have a high-fat content, which gives the sauce its signature rich and savory flavor. Pancetta (Italian unsmoked bacon) and veal are also common additions.
How to store, freeze, and reheat
How to store: Allow leftover ground pork spaghetti sauce to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a glass, airtight container. Leftovers will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
How to freeze: Leftovers should cool completely, then get placed in a plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months.
How to reheat: Reheat leftover ground pork pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat.
What to serve with pork bolognese
The best sides for this easy ground pork spaghetti include:
Plus, there is antipasto salad, garden salad, greek salad, garlic knots, Texas toast, steamed veggies, and freshly baked rolls!
Frequently asked questions
Ground pork is typically made from pork shoulder, also called pork butt or Boston butt. This cut contains a good balance of lean meat and fat, which is crucial for flavor.
Pork loin is a lean and tender cut of pork, making it an undesirable choice for ground pork. Ground pork is made with fatty cuts of meat.
Ground pork adds fat, flavor, and texture to spaghetti. It's a common addition to bolognese, ragù, and meat sauce.
Yes, ground pork can be used in place of Italian sausage or ground beef in spaghetti sauce. If you like the flavor Italian sausage adds, you should season your ground pork with salt, pepper, fennel, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and onion powder.
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