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Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Ragu' Sauce

Updated on March 20, 2011

Don't think for one second that the crimson chemical mixture served up in glass jars is Ragu'. Ragu' is the prototypical Neapolitan sauce and I can assure you it's absolutely like nothing you've ever tasted... or imagined... before!

Mamma's Ragu' recipe was reserved for Sundays and special holidays, and I remember barely being able to wait until those times when the house would be redolent with the aroma of the long, slow cooking sauce! Yum!!!!

Note: This is not one of those "I've just come home from work and I want a quick sauce on pasta" recipes. This sauce takes all day, and it's worth every minute!

4 large cans of San Marzano tomatoes

2 small cans of Italian tomato paste

24 ounce beef steak

1 ounce of pine nuts

1 ounce of seedless raisins

4 ounces of diced genoa salami

4 ounces of diced cooked Italian mild sausage

4 ounces of shredded smoked provolone cheese

2 pounds of pork ribs with the bones and cartilage removed, diced

1/2 pound of lean ground beef

1/2 pound of lean ground pork

4 ounces of red wine

2 ounces of pork lard

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

Grated nutmeg

Basil chiffonade

Vegetable oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

First thing in the morning, preferably before breakfast, pour four large cans of San Marzano tomatoes and two small cans of Italian tomato paste into a big pot. Bring to a boil and then place at a nice slow covered simmer.

Now take that big steak. It doesn't matter what type it is, but sirloin tip and round work best. Don't waste the money on a pricier cut, as the cheaper ones taste better. Beat the living daylights out of the steak with a mallet until it's as thin as you can reasonably get it.

In a long row in the middle of the steak evenly distribute an ounce of pine nuts, an ounce of seedless raisins, four ounces of diced genoa salami, four ounces of diced cooked Italian mild sausage, four ounces of shredded smoked provolone cheese, and lots of salt and pepper.

Wrap the steak up by rolling it until it looks like an oversized cigar and tie up like a roast. Place into a hot pan with vegetable oil and 2 ounces of pork lard. Keep turning the steak cigar until it's rusty brown all the way around. Remove and plunk into your big pot of tomato sauce, covering it all.

Now take two pounds of pork ribs. Remove all the bones and hard cartilage. Dice up into small pieces and throw into the pan along with half a pound of lean ground pork and half a pound of lean ground beef. Fry it until lightly browned. Make sure that the ground meat doesn't clog up too much and stays in fairly small lumps. Toss into the large pot.

Now dice up fine one medium yellow onion, four cloves of garlic, one large carrot and two stalks of celery. Fry up until they start to wilt.

Deglaze the pan with 4 ounces of a good red wine and pour everything into the pot. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg into the pot.

Now guess what? Leave it alone to simmer. All day. At least eight hours and ten is better still.

When the time has passed, your kitchen is so aromatic you can't stand it any longer, and the pasta has just gone into the boiling salted water, chiffonnade an entire large bunch of basil leaves (slice into thin strips) and toss into the pot that has been slow simmering all day, along with 2 ounces of E V O O. Stir it up a bit. As soon as the pasta is ready (al dente, please!) you can take the sauce off the heat and serve. Make sure to cover with ample amounts of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese! The Steak Cigar can be cut up into meat loaf sized slices (remove the ties first) and served as a Secondo Piatto, or second course.

Absolute Neapolitan Gourmet Heaven!!!

Check out all of Mamma's Top 5 Recipes From Napoli:

Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Gatto'
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Zucchini A Scapece
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Eggplant Parmesan
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Rice Sartu'
Top 5 Mamma's Napoli Recipes - Ragu' Sauce

And check out these other scrumptious Italian recipes!

The Secret To Making The Best Braciole On Earth
The Greatest Pasta Sauce You've Never Tasted
The Largest, Most Delicious Sandwich Ever
The Amazing Unforgettable Istrian Cabbage Roll Lasagna
Rose Petal Risotto: The Most Romantic Lunch On Earth
Learn How To Make Pizza From The World's Best
San Gennaro's Real Miracle: Sausage And Pepper On A Bun
Settling It Forever: Where Is The World's Best Pizza


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    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Oh, please do. You won't regret it! :)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Wow! a multitalented male. I shall try this at home!