Donatella Arpaia Sunday Ragu and Meatballs

By SMW Staff

Donatella_Arpaia_cooking_demostration_at_the_iVillage_Food_RelaunchDonatella’s Quick Sunday Ragu
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 pieces pork ribs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 (5-inch) pieces sweet Italian sausage

5 meatballs, (see Mom’s Meatball Recipe )

1 cup red wine
1 32oz and one 24oz can of crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)

2-3 garlic cloves garlic cloves
fresh basil

In a heavy-bottomed 8-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until just smoking.

Generously season each piece of meat with salt and pepper. Brown all sides of each rib; remove and set aside. Repeat browning process with the sausages.

When all the meat has been browned and removed from the pot, add in the crushed garlic and saute until lightly golden; deglaze with red wine. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and 4 torn basil leaves and bring to a boil.

Return ribs and sausage to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a high simmer. Cover with the lid and simmer for 45 minutes. A few minutes before serving, add more freshly torn basil. Remove meats to a serving platter and keep warm. Serve sauce with orrecchiete pasta as a separate course.

Mom’s Meatball Recipe
2 lbs ground sirloin

1 loaf stale Italian bread
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves finely chopped garlic

2 medium eggs

Break up the bread and soak the pieces in water. Squeeze out all the excess water and break into pieces. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together with your hands until everything is completely incorporated.

Form the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. Fry the meatballs in olive oil (the oil should not completely cover meatballs), turning them when a nice golden brown color forms on bottom.

Drain on paper towels. It’s ok if the meatballs are slightly undercooked–they will finish cooking in the sauce.