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Prep 45 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
From: Ciao Italia Pronto by Mary Ann Esposito ---------- "A typical Neapolitan ragu is a meat sauce made with beef or pork or a combination of both that is cooked slowly with tomatoes. This was the sauce that simmered for hours on the back burner in a large pot on Sunday morning while the family went to mass. Upon returning home, the smell of it permeated the house, and we could hardly wait to have that plate of macaroni mixed with a sauce that was so flavorful and sweet tasting that we wiped our plates clean with a slice of bread to mop up an left behind driblets. This is a great do-ahead sauce. It can be made 4-5 days ahead, and it can also be frozen for months. This is my grandmother Anna Galasso's recipe, the one she carried with her in her head all the way from Avellino, Italy to her new home in America". Saving Time, use a food processor to mince and chop the vegetables. To save time, make this sauce on the weekend, and freeze some for future use. Use a food processor to mince and chop the vegetables. NOTE: The sauce (with the meat) can be frozen in batches for future use for lasagne, pasta dishes, with vegetables such as green beans, zucchini, and eggplant, and over pizza.----------For those of you that don't know Maryanne Esposito, let me introduce you to a marvelous cook, who cooks only "Authentic" Italian food, and it is incredible! I had the priviledge of meeting Maryanne at a woman's luncheon many years ago, and she has her own cooking show on Channel 11 in NH. She and her husband, who is a local doctor, live in the next town from where I used to live and work.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs top round steaks, cut 1/8-inch thick
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1⁄3 cup flat leaf parsley, minced
- 1⁄4 cup pecorino cheese, grated
- 4 meaty spareribs, on the bone
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (Colavita)
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
- 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch basil leaves, stemmed, and torn into pieces
- 3 (28 ounce) cans crushed plum tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup dry red wine or 1⁄2 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Dry the round steak with paper towels, and rub it on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the meat with the parsley and cheese.
- Roll the meat up like a jellyroll, and tie it in several places with kitchen string.
- Salt and pepper the spare ribs. Set the meats aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy duty pot. Over medium heat, brown the round steak and spare ribs in the oil on all sides. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the onion, celery and carrot and continue cooking until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and basil. Cook 1 minute.
- Combine the tomatoes and wine in a bowl. Slowly pour the mixture over the meat.
- Stir in the tablespoon of salt, a grinding of pepper, and the sugar.
- Cover the pot, bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, and cook the sauce until the meat is fork tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove the meat to a dish. Cover the dish, and refrigerate the meat to make it easier to cut when cold.
- When ready to use, transfer the round steak to a cutting board, and cut the strings from the round steak with a kitchen scissors.
- Cut into neat slices about 1/4-1/2" thick.
- Add to the sauce. Cut the meat off the bones of the spareribs and add the pieces to the sauce.
- Use the sauce for pasta dishes both boiled and baked.
Now THIS is real Italian gravy! So delicious I couldn't leave it alone while it was cooking. It kept calling me to the stove for a taste! Excellent flavor and will be my new gravy recipe when we feel like spaghett!
I made this several weeks ago for a family sufffering from enormous stress. Although I loved it myself, I was reluctant to post a review until I heard from them. My friend just told me that her daughter who was visiting said it was the best neapolitan sauce she'd ever had!
Linda, you have the perfect Italian Gravy recipe here. When I talk about Italian Gravy, THIS is what I'm talking about! It doesn't get any more authentic then this. We had this along with some garlic bread and a delicious salad of greens, tomatoes, black olives and onions with Italian dressing. It was a meal to remember, and I will! This is a must try if you want authentic spaghetti from the streets of Italy! Thank Maryanne for me :)