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5 from 1 vote

Fennel and Pork Bolognese

This deceptively simple (and inexpensive!) recipe for fennel and pork bolognese is the perfect comfort food for a cold fall evening!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 lb pasta, any shape
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 oz pancetta or bacon finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped reserve some of the green fronds for garnish
  • 1 med onion finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 c red wine
  • 24 oz tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese for serving about a cup


  • In a large pot or dutch oven heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the pancetta, fennel, onion, and garlic together until they are soft and fragrant, but not browned. Between 5-10 minutes.
  • Turn the heat up to medium/high, add another splash of olive oil to the pot and then the ground pork along with a big pinch of salt. Sauté the ground pork until it's about 90% cooked then add back in the fennel and pancetta mixture. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated then pour in the tomato puree.
  • Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper then bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook the pasta according to the packages instructions. Toss the freshly cooked pasta with the bolognese. Divide between plates and top with fresh green fennel fronds and lots of parmesan cheese!


The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen up to 1 month.
If you're not in the mood to do a ton of chopping you can pulse the onion, fennel, pancetta and garlic in a food processor until it is finely chopped.