Best Pork Ragu Recipe is a rich, thick pork sauce made with imported San Marzano tomatoes, lots of onions, and garlic. Then it is slowly simmered with Italian sweet sausage links and sliced pork tenderloin. This is a delicious pork ragu, and it’s perfect for any Sunday meal, holidays, and special occasions.
Every Italian grandmother and mother have probably made a pork ragu in their lifetime because pork was less expensive than beef.
Even though my husband and I have made both our mom’s, and his mom’s sauce, this time we prefer my mom’s pork ragu over his.
First, you should know, making pork ragu is the same concept as making a beef ragu, similar to our recipe for Braciole Sicilian Style, and to our Mom’s Sunday Meatballs.
But it’s different from our mom’s classic bolognese and our rigatoni all’amatriciana.
When making the best pork ragu, there are 3 steps:
First, the tomato sauce is made and simmers for one hour.
Second, the meats are seared (see my notes on the recipe card) and added to the sauce.
And finally, the sauce continues to slowly simmer for additional 30 minutes until the meats are perfectly tender and the sauce thickens.
What you need to make the Best Pork Ragu:
For our pork ragu, you will need: (6 main ingredients)
large yellow onions – at least 3 of them.
extra virgin olive oil
imported San Marzano peeled tomatoes – at least 3 to 4 cans.
Italian sweet sausage links – we used 8 links, but you can add more or less.
pork tenderloin – a package of pork tenderloin usually one size (about 1.5 to 2 pounds).
and a very large saucepot
Easy Steps to Make the Best Pork Ragu:
1. The first step is to make the tomato sauce!
Its savory flavors come from the onions that are finely minced and slowly melt away into the sauce as the sauce cooks down.
Next, fresh basil is added and simmered for a few minutes to fragrant the olive oil. While the basil is simmering, open the cans of San Marzano imported tomatoes. (full recipe on the bottom)
These are imported peeled tomatoes that get pureed and added to the onion mixture.
Our method is to allow the sauce to simmer on low heat, covered, for one full hour before the sausage links are seared and added.
2. The second step is to sear the sausage links.
This is done when the sauce has been cooking for at least 1 hour, and not before.
3. ... and the third and final step is to sear pieces of pork tenderloin.
Cut the tenderloin into 2-inch thick pieces. Sear them only for 1 minute per side, and gently drop one by one into the sauce. This is done only in the last 30 minutes of simmering the ragu.
Pork Ragu is a little time-consuming, but SO worth it!
The pork gives this ragu its savory flavors. It’s so delicious, you’ll be tempted to eat it with a spoon!
It’s the best!
Notes and Tips for Success!
It’s important to simmer the onions on low heat and do not burn them.
It is best if you use the highest quality of extra virgin olive oil, with this recipe. The one we highly recommend using is the: Sicilian Partanna Brand EVOO.
The tomato sauce needs to slowly cook for one full hour before the sausage links are added.
Our recipe requires only braise or searing pork. It’s not meant to fry them.
Keep in mind, the pork sausage links need to simmer inside the ragu for one hour, whereas the pork tenderloin only needs 30-minutes. If you simmer the pieces of pork tenderloin (in the sauce) too long, they will become tough.
I recommend a brand called All-Clad Stainless Steel for my large pots when making ragu. And an electric mini-chopper to finely chop the onions.
From start to finish, the ragu takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Storing and Freezing…
Wait until the ragu (the sauce) completely cools before storing. Best to store in an air-tight sealed container and in the refrigerator.
This ragu will stay fresh for up to 3 days. It freezes for up to one month and it reheats beautifully.
Our pork ragu will make a hearty meal, and plenty enough to feed a crowd.
I bet your family will go nuts over our pork ragu. This recipe will make enough left over to freeze for another dinner.
We have been making this pork ragu for years and often for a Sunday family meal. It’s best to serve our ragu over your favorite pasta. You can either serve the pork as a side on a large platter or serve the pork alongside the pasta.
This recipe happens to be the BEST pork ragu recipe you’ll ever find. Trust me on this one.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
- 2/3 cup (86.67 grams) of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large yellow onions - minced
- 2 large cloves of garlic - minced
- 5 large fresh basil leaves
- 4 cans (28-ounces each) of San Marzano peeled tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. (17.07 grams) salt
- 8 links of Italian sweet sausages
- 1.5 pounds of pork tenderloin
- olive oil cooking spray
Directions To Make Pork Ragu:
- In a large saucepot, or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over low heat. Toss in onions, garlic, and fresh basil leaves. Simmer on low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until the onions turn a golden color.
- Next, open each can of tomatoes, and in 4 different batches, add one entire can of peeled tomatoes into a blender. Puree the tomatoes for about 1 minute.
- Transfer to the pot with the onions simmering. Repeat until all 4 cans have been pureed and transferred to the pot.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Cover with a lid and simmer the sauce on low heat, for one hour, stirring occasionally.
After One Hour of Simmering, UNCOVER.
- Continue to simmer on the lowest heat, uncovered.
Now it's Time to Sear the Sausage Links:
- In a large non-stick skillet, spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Next, on medium heat, place all 8 sausage links and sear them for about 3 minutes per side. While they are cooking in the skillet, take a fork and poke each one to release excess grease from each link.
- When sausage links are brown on all sides. Then transfer each one into the ragu sauce that has been simmering beside it.
- Allow the sausage links to simmer in the sauce for 30 minutes (uncovered) before searing the pork tenderloin.
- After the ragu sauce has been simmering for 1 and a half hours, NOW is the time to sear the pork tenderloin.
- Sear the pieces of pork tenderloin in the same skillet, searing each one for one minute on each side. (Do not fry the pieces of pork tenderloin) And transfer each piece to the ragu sauce simmering. Continue until all the pieces have been seared.
- Continue to simmer the ragu with all the pork, (uncovered ) for an additional 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat, and allow the ragu sauce to rest ( for at least 30 minutes or more) before serving.
- The total cooking time for the pork ragu is about two and half hours.
How to Serve Pork Ragu:
- When ready to serve. You can either transfer all the meats into a large serving platter and serve them at the table as a side with a salad. And the sauce is served over your favorite pasta. Or you can serve them both in a large pasta bowl.
- Yields: 4 quarts
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Protein: 17g
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