Ragu Napoletano with Fusilli Col Buco

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Adapted from La Cucina Italiana

  • ½ cup double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. pancetta, finely chopped
  • 6 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 – 2.5 lbs boneless chuck roast
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs fusili col buco, bucatini, or other dry pasta

5 hours before you want to eat – combine tomato paste with 3 cups of water; set aside until ready to use.  In a large dutch oven set over medium heat, combine onions, pancetta, and 3 Tb olive oil.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.  Add carrots, celery, and garlic and cook another 3 – 5 minutes.  Scrape vegetables to the sides of the pot and add the meat to the middle.

Cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes.  (You may also want to stir the vegetables to keep those on the bottom from burning.)  Add wine, stir, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until wine has mostly evaporated – about 7 minutes.

4 hours, 20 minutes before you want to eat – add tomato paste mixture to the pot.  Stir to combine everything, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low.

Cover the pot.  Gently simmer, stirring the sauce and turning the meat occasionally, for about 2 hours.

2 hours, 10 minutes before you want to eat – Add the remaining 3 Tb olive oil, some salt, and more water if sauce is becoming too dry.  Continue to gently simmer, covered, stirring the sauce and turning the meat occasionally, for another 2 hours or so.

25 minutes before you want to eat – bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add pasta and cook to al dente.  Drain.

5 minutes before you want to eat – Transfer meat to a serving platter.  Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce.  Stir or toss to combine.  Serve immediately.


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