There are two classic ragu-style sauces in Italy; Bolognese and Neapolitan-style. This ragu features a variety of large chunks of meats rather than the ground meats used in Bolognese. The braised meat can be served alongside the sauced pasta or shredded into the sauce before tossing with the pasta. Either way, this is a hearty meal to feed a crowd, reminiscent of "Sunday stew or gravy", a popular tradition with North American Italian immigrants.
1/4 cup (50 mL)
onions, very finely chopped
1 lb (500 g)
veal shoulder, cut into large pieces
1 lb (500 g)
3/4 cup (175 mL)
dry red wine
2 cans (796 each)
good quality whole tomatoes such as San Marzano
1 lb (500 mL)
bambino (baby-style) sweet or spicy Italian sausages (or regular sausages cut into thirds)
1 can (156 mL)
cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL)
1/2 tsp (2 mL)
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL)
torn fresh basil leaves
2 lb (908 g)
Giovanni Panzani™ Spaghetti #5
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, veal and beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onions are tender and the meat is browned. Add the wine; cook for 3 minutes or until slightly reduced. Purée the tomatoes in a blender or food processor.
- Add the puréed tomatoes, sausages, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered and stirring ocassionally, for 2 hours or until the meat is tender and sauce is thickened. Discard the bay leaves; stir in the basil. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Meanwhile, prepare the spaghetti according to package directions. Toss the hot, drained spaghetti with sauce to taste; serve with the meat on a platter alongside.
TipsReserve any remaining sauce, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Ingredient NotesOxtail: Although historically from oxen, the term oxtail now typically refers to beef or veal tail; it is an example of how, in traditional peasant cooking, no part of the animal went to waste. Although quite bony, this flavourful meat is often used in stews or soups. Oxtail requires a long braising time but is prized for the robust beefy flavour that is released from the marrow and bones. If you have trouble finding oxtail, you can substitute beef shank or short ribs in the Neapolitan Ragu.