Browning pieces of meat then pouring them with tomato sauce by letting them cook for a number of hours is a tradition in Southern Italy, and this is also the way to make Neapolitan Ragù, very different from Bolognese Ragù which calls for minced meat. Whether it is different cuts of meat or parts of the same meat, using fresh tomato or tomato sauce or peeled tomatoes or aromatic herbs or chilli pepper depending on the region and its traditions including those of each family, this is another Italian dish that says Sunday Lunch. And with its meat tomato sauce you can also seasoning pasta.

Serves 3-4, Preparation 15 mins, Cooking approx. 3 to 5 hours

  • Rigatoni Pasta, 350 g
  • Pork ribs, 6-7
  • Tomato sauce, 300 gr
  • Tomato paste, 1 teaspoon
  • Grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano cheese, 2 tablespoons
  • Bay leaf, 1
  • Rosemary sprig, 1
  • garlic clove, 1
  • half white onion, thinly sliced
  • Still red wine at room temperature, half a glass
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste


Heat two tablespoons of EVOO in a non-stick pan and brown the sliced onion along with garlic clove, bay leaf and rosemary for a few minutes. Add the pork chops and brown them evenly over a medium-high flame until the meat turns a nice hazelnut colour. Deglaze with red wine over a high flame and allow the alcohol to evaporate, then lower the flame.

Add the tomato puree, stir, now add the tomato sauce, season with salt, stir again, remove both bay leaf and rosemary sprig, keep the flame to a minimum and cover with the lid leaving a small opening. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 or even 5 hours to reduce the sauce, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the meat with some of the tomato sauce to a bowl. Cut up some pieces of meat from the bone, add them to the tomato sauce.

Bring salted water to the boil in a pot, cook pasta al dente. Add it to the pan with the meat sauce and meat pieces, a pinch of black pepper and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano cheese and serve.

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