Pork, aubergine & porcini ragu


by: Jenny Eatwell

Pork, Aubergine & Porcini Ragu on pasta - deliciously earthy, woody umami flavours on comforting pasta - perfect for a chilly end of the winter day.


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serves: 3-4

Olive oil

500g minced pork

1 large aubergine, cut into 7mm slices and chargrilled

2 banana shallots, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

in a handful dried porcini mushrooms, soaked a little boiling water

3 chestnut mushrooms

75ml red wine

500ml pork stock (or 1 pork stock cube, dissolved in 500ml water)

400g tinned tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp dried sage

tsp half a smoked paprika

tsp half a dried basil

tsp half a dried rosemary

dash a of Worcestershire sauce

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Nutrition Facts
Pork, aubergine & porcini ragu

Servings Per Recipe: 3

Amount per Serving

Calories: 599

  • Total Fat: 39.8 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 12.8 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 116.7 mg
  • Sodium: 2507.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 23.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 6.8 g
  •     Sugars: 11.1 g
  • Protein: 34 g

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1.  Firstly, prepare the aubergines. Using a blisteringly hot griddle pan, barbecue or cooker grill, cook the aubergine slices until they are softened, ideally with dark griddle marks. Once cooked, place onto a plate, cover with clingfilm and allow to cool.

2.  To make the Ragu :

3.  Dry fry the minced pork in a large wok or deep frying pan until lightly browned, then remove from the pan and set aside.

4.  Add a little olive oil to the pan and cook the shallots, chestnut mushrooms and garlic until soft but not coloured.

5.  Return the pork to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Once the pan is sizzling, add the red wine and stir for five minutes to allow the majority of the alcohol to cook off.

6.  Add the tomato puree and stir well to combine with the pork for a couple of minutes.

7.  Now add the paprika, herbs, tinned tomatoes and stock. Bring the pan to a lively simmer before adding the porcini mushrooms along with their soaking liquid.

8.  Season with the Worcestershire sauce and simmer until the ragu sauce has reduced to a thick consistency. Once at your preferred consistency, taste for seasoning and add more if necessary.

9.  Serve with freshly cooked pasta.

Cooks' note:
Firstly, when you're char-grilling the aubergines, always oil the aubergines and not the pan. Aubergines are total sponges and will soak up as much oil as you want to give them, so make sure to brush on just enough to help them to cook, or you'll end up with a greasy ragu.

Secondly, with regard to soaking the Porcini mushrooms. When it comes to adding them to the dish, take care not to disturb the bottom of the soaking liquid. Porcini's are renowned for containing little pieces of grit which will sink to the bottom of the bowl as the dried mushroom softens. Pour the liquid gently and leave the last little bit in the bowl and you will be as sure as you can be, that your ragu will be grit free.

Lastly, be aware that as the ragu sauce reduces, the intensity of salt and pepper will change accordingly, so be sparing with the salt to begin with.

We didn't serve ours with any Parmesan cheese for sprinkling, but if you particularly enjoy a dash of Parmesan, then by all means feel free. The flavours can certainly cope!

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