5-Hour Pork Sugo

Sugo is a long-cooked Italian sauce; similar to a Ragu or a Bolognese. Choose your favorite pasta to go with this big and decadent dish. Enjoy!


  • 1 carrot, trimmed
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2-3 juniper berries
  • 1 allspice berry
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 4 ounces dry porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1 quart water, liquid strained and reserved
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle red wine, such as Barbera or Dolcetto
  • 1 quart low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup crushed tomato
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds fresh pasta such as tagliatelle, fettucine, papparadelle or tajarin, or dried short pasta such as rigatoni or penne
  • Butter, to finish
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve


  • Chop carrot, onion, celery and mushrooms in a food processor.
  • In a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind juniper, allspice, cloves and pepper.
  • In a large Dutch oven, sweat vegetables and mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat until they become soft, 5 to 7 minutes, then add the pork, stirring until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add wine, broth, mushroom liquid, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and reduce by half for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  • Add tomatoes and simmer on very low heat for 5 hours.
  • Add cream and allow sauce to simmer gently until it has emulsified, about 20 minutes. (If freezing the sauce, wait to add the cream until just before serving the pasta).
  • Boil the pasta in well-salted water. If using fresh pasta, toss the pasta in butter and season it well with salt and pepper. Then serve immediately in shallow bowls, topped with 1/3 to ½ cup of sauce. If using short pasta, toss the pasta in the sauce with some butter and serve immediately in shallow bowls. Garnish with fresh
  • Parmesan cheese.


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5-Hour Pork Sugo