Paula McIntyre's Rare Breed Pork Ragu with Gnudie

This recipe takes time but is well worth it. Start the ricotta process the night before – either make your own, or drain excess liquid out of shop bought ricotta, full details below. The Ragu requires long, slow cooking, either in a low oven or, as I did, in my Slow Cooker. If making your own ricotta the left-over whey can be used in a variety of ways, by replacing the liquid element in soda bread or scones, or to make a light soup or sauce instead of whole milk.
Prep Time1 day 4 hours
Cook Time4 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people


  • 500 g ricotta (see below)
  • 250 g 00 flour or strong bread flour (see below)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • S&P
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 500 g pork mince
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 500 g passata
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 1 tsp Italian mixed herbs
  • Parmesan grated
  • 2 l full fat milk
  • 40 ml white distilled vinegar
  • large pinch of salt



  • Bring the milk and salt to just below boiling point.
  • Remove from heat and add the vinegar. Stir for 2 minutes, the curds and whey will form and separate.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Line a sieve with cloth and pour in the curds and whey.
  • Leave to drain overnight.
  • If using shop-bought ricotta, put into a cloth lined sieve and allow excess liquid to drain overnight.

Pork Ragu

  • Gently fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in the olive oil, until golden and softened.
  • Add pork mince and fry gently until browned.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except the Parmesan, stir well and bring to the boil.
  • Cover tightly and allow to cook in a low oven for 3-4 hours (or longer), or transfer to a Slow Cooker.


  • Weigh the ricotta that has been draining overnight and add in just under half of its weight in flour. I got 483g of ricotta from my 2l of milk.
  • Add the egg yolks and salt and pepper. Mix well to form a dough, adding more flour if needed.
  • When the dough has formed, roll it into a sausage on a floured board and cut into very large bite-sized pieces. At this point the Gnudie can be frozen for later use – put on a tray lined with greaseproof paper, so they are not touching each other. Put in freezer until frozen. They can then be put in freezer bags and cooked directly from frozen.
  • To cook the Gnudie, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  • Drop in the Gnudie and when they rise to the top they're done!
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and serve on top of the Ragu with grated parmesan.