Neapolitan Meat Ragu

Total Time:
2 hr
1 hr
1 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 pieces pork ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 chicken thighs
  • 5 (5-inch) pieces sweet Italian sausage
  • 5 pieces pork braciole, recipe follows
  • 5 meatballs, recipe follows
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 6 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • Pork Braciole:
  • 5 (6-ounce) pieces pork shoulder, pounded thinly to yield 6 by 8-inch long slices
  • 5 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 5 tablespoons grated pecorino
  • 5 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Special equipment: Butcher's twine or heavy duty kitchen string
  • Neapolitan Meatballs: Polpette alla Napolitana (Recipe adapted from "Mario Batali Holiday Food"):
  • 3 cups day old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 pounds ground veal
  • 3/4 pounds ground pork
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed through a food mill or by hand
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Please note: do not use this recipe to complete the Neapolitan Lasagne. Use instead the recipes from Molto Mario: Neapolitan Meat Sauce: Ragu Napoletano, Neapolitan Meatballs: Polpette alla Napoletana
  • In a heavy-bottomed 8-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until just smoking.

  • Season each piece of meat with salt and pepper. Brown all sides of each rib, remove, and set aside on a plate. Repeat browning process with chicken thighs, sausages, braciole, and meatballs.

  • When the meat is browned, remove and deglaze with red wine. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Return ribs, thighs, sausage, braciole, and meatballs to the pot, return to boil, and lower to high simmer. Cover with the lid and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove meats to a serving platter and keep warm. Serve sauce with paccheri pasta as a separate course.

  • Season each piece of pork on one side with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the orange zest, pecorino, and parsley. Spoon 2 tablespoons of mixture onto center of seasoned side of one piece of pork. Starting at one end, carefully roll the pork to form a very thick cigar. Wind a long piece of string around the roll many times and secure with a knot. Repeat with the remaining 4 pieces of pork.

  • In a shallow bowl, soak the bread cubes in the milk for a few minutes. Using your hands, break apart the bread into small pieces.

  • In a large bowl, combine the veal, pork, eggs, bread and milk, parsley, salt, and pepper.

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until almost smoking. Add the meatballs and, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, cook until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

  • In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme, tomatoes, and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and pepper.

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