Mar 14

Pasta alla Bolognese with Ground Pork

Pasta Bolognese Recipe

Feeding a family of seven with distinctly varying palates can be challenging. I've always said that I refuse to be a short order cook, preparing multiple meals for various family members to please their tastes. So instead I look for meals that can easily be customized, and pasta is always a great choice.

For the pickier members of the family, whatever pasta is on the menu tossed with a little butter and grated Parmesan-Reggiano is sure to please. And for the rest of the family, a delicious meat sauce, like this pasta alla bolognese, is always a winner. Pair it with this copy cat Olive Garden Salad for a real feast!

Traditionally, a bolognese sauce is simmered for hours to achieve its complex flavor. Hours to prepare a meal it typically not a luxury I have though, so I've cut my take on this classic down to just over 30 minutes of cooking time.

Bolognese Recipe

I also opted to use ground pork instead of ground beef for added flavor. Did you know that you can substitute ground pork in any recipe that calls for ground beef? Such an easy way to break out of a meal rut!

Pasta Alla Bolognese

I like to serve my quick bolognese sauce over orecchiette pasta, but spaghetti, penne and fettuccine are all great choices, as well. However you serve it, there are sure to be smiles all around!

Pasta alla Bolognese

Yield: 4-6 servings

Pasta alla Bolognese


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-lb. ground pork
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano
  • 1-lb. package orecchiette pasta, cooked according to package


  1. Sautee onions, carrots, and celery in extra virgin olive oil until softened and translucent. Stir in garlic.
  2. Add ground pork and cook until done, breaking up any large chunks.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and red wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.
  4. Stir in heavy cream and heat through.
  5. Toss orecchiette pasta with the bolognese sauce and Parmesan-Reggiano, and serve immediately.

Now, our family has always been a fan of pork, but here's a reason to love it just a little bit more... I discovered that the Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) has donated more than 750,000 meals of nutritious pork to Ohio food banks since 2009. Pretty amazing, huh?

What's more -- YOU can help Ohio food banks receive additional donations of pork by watching this cute "Pork from Fork to Farm" video produced by OPPC. For each view, OPPC and its partners will donate one pound of ground pork to Ohio’s food banks.

I hope you'll take a moment to view this video right now!

Need a few more ideas for using ground pork? Check these out:

Disclosure: I received compensation from the Ohio Pork Producers Council for the time and effort spent creating this post. However, my participation in this program is voluntary and my opinions are my own -- always have been, always will be.

by Tara | 12 comments

  • Wenderly

    Oh does this sound delish! Love meeting other Ohio bloggers! Fun to be supporting this cause with you!

  • Lucrecer

    Amazing. I am looking forward to trying this. So glad to have found your blog through this project.

  • Caitlin

    This gets my little Italian heart pumping!

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets

    YUM. Happy to have found you through this campaign!

  • Cassie | Bake Your Day

    I just made some hearty meat sauce last week and for the first time, added Italian sausage and what a difference it made. I'll never go back!

  • Sandy @ RE

    I always add pork to my sauce. Makes the BEST! Great post Tara!

  • Paula – bell’alimento

    It doesn't get much better than a bolognese sauce.

  • Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet

    This looks like a great weeknight meal. Bolognese = heaven. The end.

  • Amanda

    Love the ground pork tip!! For some reason I had forgotten you are a family of seven... we will be in a couple months too! You are amazing girl... everything you do and you do it so well! :)

    • Tara @ Unsophisticook

      I am so excited for you, Amanda! I loooovvvveee babies, but I don't think my poor body could take another.

  • Ali | Gimme Some Oven

    This looks beautiful! I love bolognese!

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl’s dabbles

    I adore pork sausage in so many things, it adds great flavor. Your dish sounds delish!

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