Ragu Alla Napoletana
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into slices 1/8-inch thick
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 large (35-ounce) cans of high quality plum tomatoes
- 1 small can tomato paste
- Cooked ziti or penne
- Grated Parmesan, for serving
In a small bowl, combine pine nuts, raisins and garlic. Lay meat slices on a work surface, and season them lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle pine nut and raisin mixture on 1 side of the slices. Roll slices up and secure them with a toothpick or tie them with kitchen string. Place them in a large, deep saute pan and add oil, onion and 4 cups of water. Place over medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until water has evaporated, about 1 1/4 hours.
Continue cooking, turning meat rolls with tongs, until meat is lightly browned on all sides. Add wine to pan and cook until evaporated. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice, and coarsely chop tomatoes. Add tomatoes, reserved juice and tomato paste to pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce is very thick, about 2 hours.
Remove meat from pan with tongs, remove toothpicks or cut string, and place meat on a serving platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper, and pour it over ziti or penne. Serve with meat and grated Parmesan on the side.
Recipe courtesy Sandro Manzo