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Sicilian Pork Ragù with Chocolate

Check out this truly delicious recipe for Pork Ragù with Chocolate.

Yes I agree it sounds a little bit odd, but everyone's heard of putting chocolate in chilli, so why not add chocolate to a Ragù?

Sicilian Pork Ragu with Chocolate

Recipe adapted it from the book The Southern Italian Table.

What is Ragù?

In Italian cuisine, ragù is a meat-based sauce that is commonly served with pasta.

What's the difference between Ragù and Bolognaise?

Ragù is not the same as Bolognese. Ragù sauce has more meat and minced elements, specifically onions, carrot and celery, also known as soffritto.

Soffritto is a mixture of very slowly cooked carrots, onions and celery, used as a base to add flavour to sauces, soups and stews.

Where is Sicily in relation to Italy?

Sicily, Italian Sicilia, island, southern Italy, the largest and one of the most densely populated islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

When referring to tomato puree and tomato paste, there seems to be a language barrier between the USA / Canada and between the UK and the rest of the world it seems!

Quote from Wikipedia: Tomato purée is sometimes referred to by its Italian name, Passata di Pomodoro when it has been 'passed' through a sieve to remove seeds and lumps.

In this form, it is generally sold in bottles or aseptic packaging and is most common in Europe.

In the United Kingdom, 'tomato purée' usually refers to what in America is known as concentrated tomato paste. In the UK 'Passata' refers to sieved uncooked tomatoes.

Confused? Yes, so am I 😕

sicilian, pork,Ragù,chocolate,recipe
Yield: 4
Sicilian Pork Ragù with Chocolate

Sicilian Pork Ragù with Chocolate

Everyone's heard of putting chocolate in beef chilli, so why not in a Ragù?!


  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 1 stick of celery - stringy bits removed and very finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot - peeled and very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g pork mince
  • 175ml red wine
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree (paste in the US)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 500ml Passata
  • 15 to 30g of dark chocolate
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a knob of butter (15g)


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, celery and carrot. 
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon over low to medium heat until the mixture is soft but not coloured, it'll take about 30 minutes.
  3. Now add the minced pork, stirring and breaking it up as you go. A wooden spoon works better than anything else for this.
  4. Cook the meat for a few minutes to brown it slightly,  don't let it burn.
  5. Stir in the tomato puree (known as paste in the US). Now add the wine and turn up the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Now add the passata, cinnamon and just 1 teaspoon of sugar along with a little salt and pepper.
  7. Simmer for about 10 minutes and then stir in the chocolate a little at a time.
  8. Start with 15g and taste as you go. I used the whole 30g but found it a little too much.
  9. Have a taste and add more salt and pepper and the rest of the sugar - if needed.
  10. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce is nice and thickish.
  11. Stir in the knob of butter - have one more taste and adjust seasoning.
  12. Serve immediately with tagliatelle pasta.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. Yes I am confused Jan, but I am sure this is delicious. We find passata at our local Italian market.

  2. I love good quality dark chocolate in meat sauces (and a pinch of cinnamon), some of the French top chefs use chocolate quite often to cook meat dishes. :) Love the idea and it does not suprise me. Do you remember a series on TV (BBC?) about man obsessed with chocolate, he use to bring cocoa solids from Latin America. It was a good one. :)

  3. Karolina - I do remember that being on TV and yes it was good! I love anything mad like that.

  4. Wow, that sounds intriguing. And even more so because I've just come back from a holiday in Sicily and that book was one of the ones recommended by the guide book. Definitely want to give that a try.

  5. Just catching up on your blog and drooling at the beautiful photoes! Cheers Jan!

  6. No confusion here Jan. Tomato puree = tomato paste Tomato passatta = seived tomatoes.

    Delicious looking as always! We need to get together sometime now that we live so close to each other!

  7. I always use choc in my chilli so will give this a try

  8. Puree? Paste? You're frying our brains here lol.

    Who needs an excuse for chocolate. Cinnamon too. Have to try it out.

  9. I like the sound of using the chocolate and cinnamon in a pasta sauce like this!

  10. Jan - I cooked your Pork Ragu with Chocolate tonight for our dinner. It is absolutely gorgeous! I kept the chocolate down to 15g as, for our first go with chocolate in a savoury dish, I didn't want to over-face us. My 12yr old son cleaned his plate - and that's incredibly difficult to achieve! I'll be blogging about this one very soon - so keep an eye out. :)


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