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Pork, fennel and chilli pasta sauce recipe image

Print Pork, fennel and chilli pasta sauce

This pasta dish takes a while to simmer to its full richness, but requires no attention but the occasional stir. Minced beef is good for it, but minced pork is better – it lightens things up, which allows other flavours to develop. If you don't have any mince, squeeze out the inside of some Italian-style sausages. This goes well with long flat ribbons of linguine or fettucine, but any pasta will do.


  • 400-500g pork mince
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 dried chillies, crumbled (or use chilli flakes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch nutmeg, grated
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 200ml double cream or crème fraîche


  1. Mix the minced pork with the fennel seeds, season well, and fry in a flameproof casserole dish in olive oil, keeping it on the move, for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, chilli, and bay leaves, and fry gently for half an hour. Turn up the heat and add a large glass of red wine. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes.
  3. Bring to the boil, allow some of the liquid to evaporate, then put on a lid and simmer for an hour.
  4. Grate in some nutmeg, a handful of Parmesan and the cream or crème fraîche. Stir until everything is incorporated and check the seasoning. Serve with pasta and a green salad.
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