Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pasta In A Red Wine & Pork Sauce!

By: The Food Hunter

Welcome to Progressive Eats, a virtual version of a progressive dinner where people travel from house to house to share in different courses of a meal. This month we are "cooking with alcohol," or in my case wine.

One of my favorite was to incorporate alcohol into my meals is by adding red wine to pasta sauce. Wine adds richness and depth to a sauce that you can't get otherwise. Though the amount of alcohol left after cooking is minimal, the flavor remains, making the sauce robust and delicious.

Red Wine & Pork Pasta Sauce
(printable recipe)
olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound pancetta, 1/2 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 sage leaves
1-2 thyme sprigs
1-2 rosemary sprig
1/2 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 leek, white and light green part only, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups water
One 28 ounce can tomato puree
1 pound dried pasta

In an large casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat for about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a bowl.

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add half of it to the casserole and brown over moderately high about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to the bowl with the pancetta and repeat with remaining pork.

Wrap the sage, thyme, bay leaf and rosemary in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Add to the casserole along with the onion, nutmeg, oregano, carrot, celery, leek and garlic. Cook, stirring until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole and bring to a boil. Return the pancetta and pork shoulder to the casserole. Add the water and tomato puree and return to a boil. Cover and simmer the sauce over moderately low heat for 11/2-2 hours, until the meat is very tender.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Remove the herb bundle from the sauce and discard. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and toss until well-coated. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.

Check out all of this month's Progressive Eats recipes!



Main Course


Progressive eats is a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.


  1. This sounds so flavorful - what a hearty meal when you need some comfort food!

  2. What a scrumptious, comforting pasta! I love adding red wine to my meat sauces---so yummy!

  3. Comfort meal. Lovely meat sauce. Divine in this winter stormy weather.

  4. I love the richness a red wine adds to sauce. As much pancetta as I eat/use I've never incorporated into a red sauce pasta before. Love that.

  5. I mean, my three favorite things :)

  6. I love adding alcohol to dishes as well - the flavor is just too good!

  7. This sounds simply divine. Glad you brought some red wine to the event!

  8. What a wonderful pasta for a cold, wet night like tonight (at least here in DC.) Nothing warms up the house and makes it smell incredible like a wine-infused, slow-cooked sauce.. So glad you've joined out #ProgressiveEats crew.

  9. This is lovely and so comforting!

  10. I usually use beef when making sauce, but I love your use of double pork in this one! Wine is a staple in any sauce in my kitchen and love how much flavor it brings to dishes. Fabulous choice!

  11. I love the idea of this virtual progressive dinner (and also the layers of flavor you're creating in this sauce!). What delicious fun!

  12. Fabulous pasta sauce! I love the use of nutmeg here--sneaky, and it adds so much flavor. This is totally my kind of cold-weather dinner!

  13. I love pasta so very much. I could eat it every single day. This looks fabulous.

  14. What a delicious pasta recipe! Sounds so comforting.

  15. What a delicious pasta recipe! Sounds so comforting.

  16. Yum! Can't beat a good pasta sauce. Thanks for sharing!