Meaty pork bolognese served over al dente spaghetti topped with crispy, cheesy pangrattato (crispy breadcrumbs) is a delicious, comforting weeknight meal.
Spaghetti Bolognese is a dish I have on stand-by for nights when I don’t feel like cooking but feel like eating something delicious. However, I am not always in the mood for the standard bolognese (tasty as it may be) and so I experiment often. Last week I made this crazy good pork bolognese which I cooked with loads of carrots, celery, garlic and onion in a rich tomato and red wine sauce. The pork stayed really moist and I actually prefer it to beef but beef can of course be substituted.
To add another element to the finished dish, I decided to make a Pangrattato. Pangrattato is a crunchy breadcrumb topping which adds flavor and body to everything from soups and stews to pastas and risottos. I use it often to add a little crunch to creamy pasta dishes. But this one is extra special. I flavoured it with fresh sage, garlic and lots of Parmesan cheese. It was so good I actually ate it by the spoonful. It’s seriously addictive.
Served over the saucy spaghetti, it adds great texture and even more flavor and takes this classic weeknight staple to new levels of awesome.
How to make pork Bolognese sauce
Heat a large pot of medium-high heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add finely diced carrot, celery and onion. Allow to saute until golden brown and softened. The more you allow the vegetables to caramelize, the deeper the flavor will be. Add the garlic and thyme and allow to cook for another 30 seconds. Add the ground pork (pork mince) and allow to brown. Pour in the tomatoes, Balsamic vinegar, sugar (if using) and wine. Bring to a simmer then turn down the heat and allow to cook gently for 25-30 minutes. Season to taste then serve with spaghetti and Pangrattato.
Pork bolognese with cheesy pangrattato
for the pork bolognese
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 2 large carrots peeled and finely chopped
- 1 celery stick finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 500 g pork mince ground pork
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine
- ½ teaspoon sugar optional
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
- cooked spaghetti to serve
for the cheesy pangrattato
- 2 cups chunky fresh breadcrumbs (I used stale ciabatta to make the crumbs)
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 6 sage leaves finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- salt & pepper to taste
- To make the bolognese, fry the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and thyme in a splash of olive oil until the vegetables start to soften and caramelise slightly.
- Add the pork and brown before adding the tomatoes, wine, sugar (if using) and Balsamic.
- Turn the heat down and cover then allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Season to taste.
- For the cheesy pangrattato, fry all the pangrattato ingredients in a tablespoon of olive oil until golden and crisp then serve sprinkled over the pork bolognese.