Pork Mince Pasta is a quick and easy recipe to get a comforting dinner on the table any night of the week! Using simple ingredients and combining a tomato based sauce with herbs this ground pork pasta will tick all of your boxes!
These are the reasons why you will love, love, love this recipe:
- Everyday ingredients: the ingredients are simple and readily available.
- Quick and easy: this recipe is fuss free and effortless. Once you have gathered the ingredients, it won't take long for the dish to be done!
- Easily adaptable: if you scroll to my substitutions and variations, you will see that there is options to use different pasta and add vegetables if you please.
- Freezer friendly: once the dish is cooked and cooled, portion into containers for easy meals when you don't have the energy or time to cook!
- Ragu sauce: if you want to think of this dish as a pork ragu with penne pasta, that is fine too. There are a few different names for the same or similar ingredients and combinations. Eg pasta sauce, ragu sauce and or minced pork versus ground pork.
Here are the ingredients needed to make the recipe. For exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll to the printable recipe card below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Dried Pasta: I am using penne pasta, but you can use your favourite if you choose. Try macaroni, rigatoni or ziti. Cook in a sauce pan or Instant Pot for convenience.
- Pork Mince (Ground pork): this is a great budget friendly ingredient that is readily available and freezes well. It is a great alternative to beef mince and can almost always be interchanged in recipes.
- Olive oil: we need 2 tbs of this to cook the pork mince.
- Garlic: use 2 to 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic, added to the pan when the oil is heating. You can use minced instead if you prefer/have.
- Dried onion: this will be in the herbs and spices section of the supermarket. It saves time and tears but still delivers onion flavour to the recipe.
- Passata: this is a tomato based sauce, perfect to use in Italian cooking. It has a smooth texture and thick consistency.
- Diced tomatoes: these add flavour and texture to the dish. Try to purchase a tin that has no oil or additional herbs as we create the flavour with our own herbs and don't want that palate to be affected by additives in store bought tinned tomatoes.
- Fennel: pork and fennel are a match made in heaven. The fennel enhances the flavour of the pork and has an aromatic sense about it. If you are new to using fennel or not too sure about it, you can reduce the ½ tablespoon to 1 teaspoon.
- Red wine: I am using Pinot Noir. It is lightly bodied and has less sediment (grit) than shiraz and less intensity than merlot.
- Bay Leaves: these add flavour to the dish as it cooked. We remove them prior to consumption of the dish.
- Salt and pepper: we use these to season the pork mince as we brown it.
- Reserved pasta water: we keep a little of this pasta water when we are draining the cooked pasta and add it to the sauce. It helps the pasta and sauce bind and thicken the sauce.
- Salt: you will see it in the photo twice above. That is because we cook the pasta in boiling salted water. I use a pinch.
- Parmesan Cheese: this is to serve. I am using freshly grated, but you can also use pre grated. Sometimes you have one and not the other.
- Parsley: finely chopped. It adds flavour, texture and pops of colour to the dish when serving!
- Cracked black pepper: to serve!
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the pork.
- Cook the pork mince (Photo 1)
- Add the sauce ingredients (Photo 2)
- Cook and drain the pasta, reserving the water (Photo 3)
- Add cooked pasta to sauce (Photo 4)
How do you make pasta with ground pork?
To cook the pork mince, heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large flat based saucepan. Add the chopped garlic, pork mince, dried onion, fennel and season with salt and pepper.
Use a wooden spoon and break up any lumps of the mince as you go. These can have a tendancy to brown on the outside but still be pink in the middle.
Once the pork is cooked, add the sauce ingredients to the pan.
Use this time to also cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Add ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to combine.
The pasta water contains the starch that came out of the pasta when it was cooking. It helps give the pasta a slippery coating that is moist and helps to bind the pasta and sauce. It also allows for a thicker pasta sauce.
- Stir the pasta, pork mince and pasta sauce together (Photo 6)
You can reduce the dish to a simmer at this point and if not serving right away, place the lid on the pot.
As you can see from the photo above, I garnish the pasta with chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper (might not be as visible in the pic as the pop of green from the parsley but it is in there!!).
Remove and discard the bay leaves prior to serving.
It looks good enough to eat, don't you think!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are the small tweaks that you can make to the recipe if you want to use a different pasta and or add more vegetables for example:
- Use spaghetti instead of the penne pasta.
- Add chopped carrots.
- Add sliced mushrooms.
- Substitue oregano for the Italian Herbs.
- Use crushed tomatoes instead of diced (less chunky texture).
- Use gluten free pasta instead of regular.
This is a meal in one, so you won't need more vegetables or salad on the side.
You can, however, serve with garlic bread as a side.
How to Guide
How to Store
Place the lid on your pan, let cool and store in the fridge for leftovers the next day.
Or portion into containers that can be consumed after heating for up to 3 days.
How to Freeze
If freezing, allow the dish to cool.
Portion into containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
Thaw any frozen portions, then heat in the microwave prior to serving.
Alternatively you can reheat in the saucepan with a little oil to ensure the contents don't stick.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a tubular pasta called?
Penne, macaroni, rigatoni, ziti and canneloni are examples of tubular pasta. They vary in size and texture.
They are pasta that have a hollow centre. Canneloni is the largest of the options, commonly stuffed with ingredients such as ricotta.
Macaroni is the smallest of the options and is often used to mac and cheese or pasta bakes.
Can you have spaghetti bolognese with pork mince?
Yes, you can use pork mince instead of beef mince for spaghetti bolognese.
You can also use spaghetti instead of penne for the pasta and make this recipe as a pork spaghetti.
Is minced pork healthy?
Pork Mince can be used in a number of different ways. Combined with vegetables it is a high protein low carb dish.
In a recipe like this we are having a decent portion of pork mince and pasta which is high in carbs so it is a good idea to limit portion sizes.
Pork mince is budget friendly and freezes very well for later use.
How long does it take pork mince to cook?
It will take about 5 mins for the pork mince to cook.
Watch for it changing colour from pink to brown. Use a wooden spoon to break up any clumps of meat as these can often be brown on the outside but pink in the centre.
What can you use pork mince for?
Pork mince is very versatile and lends itself to a number of uses.
Try using it in sausage rolls, rissoles, pork burger patties, pork and rice with a stir fried sauce.
How do I use bay leaves?
Bay leaves are excellent to use in recipes as they provide additional flavour and an aromatic presence.
In a nutshell they enhance the flavour of the recipe and are used during the cooking process then removed prior to consumption.
More Delicious Dinner Ideas
If you love this recipe, here are a few more that will be right up your alley:
- Instant Pot Rigatoni with Jar Sauce
- Pork Mince Noodles
- Pork with Asparagus in Oyster Sauce
- Instant Pot Pasta Primavera
PIN and save the recipe for later!
Pork Mince Pasta
- 1 Large Pan
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 Sauce pan
- 1 Colander
- 1 Heat proof jug
- Measuring Spoons
- 1 tsbp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 500 grams pork mince (ground pork) Note 1
- ½ tablespoon dried fennel Note 2
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Pork Mince Pasta Sauce
- 700 grams passata
- 400 grams diced tomatoes
- ½ tablespoon Italian herbs
- 1 cup red wine
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- 2 bay leaves Note 3
- 500 grams penne pasta
- Cook pork: Heat 2 tbs olive oil in large heavy based pan. Add chopped garlic, pork mince, fennel, salt and pepper. Cook on high until the meat is browned, breaking up any clumps of mince as you go.
- Pasta sauce: Add passata, diced tomatoes, red wine, Italian herbs and bay leaves to the cooked pork mince. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to medium.
- Cook pasta: Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water according to the packet instructions. Drain and reserved the pasta water.
- Combine: Add the cooked pasta to the pasta sauce, pour in ¼ cup of reserved pasta water. Stir to combine.
- Simmer: Reduce the heat to low, place lid on pan and simmer until ready to serve.
- To Serve: Portion and plate the pasta. Top with parsley, parmesan cheese and cracked pepper, enjoy!
- Note 1 - Pork mince: freezer and budget friendly, this is a great alternative to beef mince.
- Note 2 - Fennel: a dried herb that pairs very well with pork. If you are new to using it, you can reduce this quantity to 1 teaspoon.
- Note 3 - Bay Leaves: we use these to cook with but discard before serving. They will be found with the herbs and spices in the supermarket.
- Portion size: depending on size of portions, recipe can stretch to 6 portions.