• 5-Hour Pork Sugo

    4 votes
    5-Hour Pork Sugo
    Prep: 30 min Cook: 150 min Servings: 8
    by Staffan Terje
    3 recipes
    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


    1. Chop carrot, onion, celery and mushrooms in a food processor.
    2. In a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind juniper, allspice, cloves and pepper.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Add tomatoes and simmer on very low heat for 5 hours.
    6. 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).
    7. 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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    • Chris Patil
      Chris Patil
      I made this a couple of weeks ago for a dinner party; I served the sugo over radiatori, which were just perfect for capturing the fine-grained sauce. (Minor variation: I forgot to buy porcini and ended up using whatever dried mushrooms I had in the kitchen, probably only an ounce or so of mixed dried, and the mushroom flavor was still very prominent.)

      Everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing, Staffan!
      • John Spottiswood
        John Spottiswood
        We loved Staffan's Bean Minestra, so we were excited to try the Sugo. It was phenomenal. Given how long it is simmered, and the amount of wine in it, it is has subtle and complex flavors. I cooked it for more like 6 hours, and liked it even better the next day. Other major variations. My wife was planning to make a different sauce and had already boiught ground beef. So we used that instead of the ground pork. It still tasted wonderful. Dried Porcini mushrooms were a rip off, so I bought just 1/2 ounce of dried mushrooms and added about a pound of fresh brown (crimini) mushrooms...for a double recipe. I used Zinfandel as the wine, and a little more tomato than called for. I was generous with both salt and pepper. Finally, the sauce didn't reduce as much as I expected, so I added about 1/2 cup of flour made into a roux with a little olive oil. This thickened the sauce nicely. It was still thin (it's supposed to be), but held onto the rotini better than it otherwise would have. Overall...a remarkable recipe that is my new favorite long-simmering pasta sauce!
        • Nancy Miyasaki
          Nancy Miyasaki
          This was outstanding. Amazing flavors and a nice change from your typical pasta sauce.


          • ShaleeDP
            Lovely! i will give this try. my daughter and i love pasta dishes.
            • Carolyn Jung
              Carolyn Jung
              I've made this every winter for the past few years. Totally love it. The deep, complex, rich flavors are addicting. It's a winter dish that is full of comfort and warmth.
              • Chris Patil
                Chris Patil
                This sounds amazing...definitely not a shy dish. I notice it's on the menu at Perbacco; I might have to make it myself and then come by for a comparison. :-)

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