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April 17, 2021

Pork Ragu with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Posted on June 24, 2015 by in pork, rsg

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pork ragu

Pork Ragu, slowly braised in beer and a rich, sweet tomato sauce….. can you think of anything more comforting than that! Oh yes, I can!

What if we serve that delicious pork ragu on sweet potato gnocchi? I bet you are thinking of dinner already aren’t you? The pork ragu is so easy to make and the sweet potato dumplings even easier. I know many people are afraid of trying gnocchi, but once you have mastered the art, you will have it often, because it is kind of addictive. The pork ragu also goes a long way, with a 2 kg chunk of pork, you can make supper and have enough left for many pork and pickle sandwiches the next day. By the way, I love using pork. It is packed with flavor and need little else to make it fabulous a in this comforting pork belly, sage and apple pie.

pork ragu

Pork Ragu with Sweet Potato gnocchi

serves 6 (with leftovers)


1.5 – 2 kg shoulder or leg of pork
3 – 4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
30 ml olive oil
1 x 400 g jar Tomato Pasta Sauce
500 ml craft beer or chicken stock
125 ml chicken stock – if needed
15 ml sugar or honey
juice of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 160 C. Heat an oven proof cast iron pot on the stove. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add the oil and garlic to the pot and then the pork, fat side down first. Brown the pork on all sides. Add all the other ingredients, place the lid on the pot and put in the oven for at least 2 – 3 hours. Once the pork is fork tender soft, remove from the sauce and use a fork to pull the met into fine strands. Reduce the sauce, if it is still very watery and then add the pork ragu to it. Add the lemon juice. Serve on Sweet potato gnocchi, polenta or pasta.

pork ragu

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

serves 6

1 kg sweet potatoes
200 g flour + more flour for rolling of gnocchi
1 extra large egg
freshly grated nutmeg
125 ml grated Parmesan

Bake the sweet potatoes in a 180 C oven until fork tender. As the sweet potatoes come out the oven, halve them and scoop out the flesh and push through a food ricer. Allow to cool a little and then add 1 cup of the flour and salt, work it through, add the egg and then if it needs more flour, add the rest of the flour. Take care not to over-process the dough as your gnocchi will be tough and dense rather than pillow-like.
Divide the dough into “ropes”, about 2,5 cm thick. With a floured knife, cut the “ropes” into small gnocchi (1,5cm)and roll over the back of a fork to make the grooves. The grooves are just so that the sauce will cling better to the gnocchi.
Heat a big pot of water on the stove, add some salt and cook the gnocchi in batches, making sure the water always stays at boiling temperature. Once the gnocchi floats to the top, it is cooked and can be scooped out and drained on kitchen towels.
Heat some butter in a pan and fry the cooked gnocchi until it browns slightly. Season with the grated nutmeg. Serve with the pork ragu and Parmesan.

Comfort food at its best! Ever wondered why we want to eat sugary, oily and starchy food during winter. Blame it on science …..


pork ragu

Tomorrow  morning  just after 9 o’clock, I will be making these in the RSG studios, tune in if you have a chance!

I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!

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4 Responses to “Pork Ragu with Sweet Potato Gnocchi”

  1. Jax 25 June 2015 at 6:35 pm #

    Sounds delicious. I was thinking of making a Ragu with gnocchi for a dinner tom eve and then I saw this recipe. One of my guests doesn’t eat pork. Do you think this will work as well with beef ?

    • nerinatimm 3 July 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      Perfect with beef or lamb.


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