Pork and Fennel Seed Ragu on Danny's Fresh Linguine

This pork ragu is a much lighter version of the classic spaghetti bolognese. I have swapped the traditional red wine for white, and adding fennel seeds to enhance the pork mince. This is very simple to make, it’s just a matter of adding everything in stages for the perfect result. This is my one bowl of comfort food for the week!

Serves 4


THE RAGU    800g  Pork Mince    4      Garlic Cloves - chopped    1      Brown Onion - diced    2t  Fennel Seeds    2T  Tomato Paste    1cup  White Wine (optional)    2      Cans of Tomatoes    120g  Spinach Leaves    400g  Fresh Egg Linguine      Salt and pepper      TO FINISH      Parmesan Cheese    1      Lemon Zest    30g  Italian Parsley


Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

The ragu sauce… Pop a large, deep frying pan on to a medium heatwith a tablespoon, or so, of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic, fennelseeds, and a pinch of salt. Gently fry until the onions are translucent, butnot browned. The more patient you are the sweeter the onions will become.

Add the tomato paste and fry for few seconds.

Then add the mince and turn up the heat. Break themince up using a wooden spoon or the edge of a fish slice.

Once the mince is cooked and separated, add thewine, if using, and let it bubble for a minute. Pour in the canned tomatoes andbring to the boil again. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes,letting it reduce, and the flavours develop. If you have the time, you can cookfor much longer topping up every now and then with some chicken stock for amuch richer sauce.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking stir through the spinach.Give the sauce a taste adding pepper and more salt if needed.

The pasta… When you are 5 min away from eating, add a generousteaspoon of salt to the boiling water and add the linguine. This should take 3 minutesuntil just cooked.

When the pasta is cooked use a pair of tongs andgently lift the linguine straight from the pot to the pan of sauce. Stirthrough while still on the heat for a few minutes. Add some of the pasta waterif it looks a little dry. This gives the pasta time to absorb the flavours ofthe sauce.

To finish… Serve into pasta bowls topping with the parsleyleaves, lemon zest, and a shaving of parmesan.