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Slow-cooked pork ragu with penne

Serves   4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 4-7 hours

A ragu or ‘Bolognese’ is easily made in your slow cooker; the sauce can simmer away while you are at work and the pasta can be added later.





  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 700g pork mince
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve


  1. Heat a film of olive oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 10 minutes over a low heat. Transfer the contents of the pan to your slow cooker along with the thyme and rosemary.
  2. Return the pan to the heat, adding a little more oil if needed and quickly brown the pork mince over a high heat, breaking up clumps to get as much colour as possible. Pour over the wine and allow to reduce by half.
  3. Transfer the mince to the slow cooker along with the tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on low for 7 hours (high for hours).
  5. Serve with penne pasta and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

The ragu can cook on low for a longer period of time if needed. If you wish, you can thicken the sauce with a flour and water paste. Make sure you continue to cook for at least 10 minutes after doing so, in order to cook the flour.

Use half pork mince and half beef mince or use all beef mince for this recipe if you prefer.