Sunday sauce with meatballs

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time140 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
2 (990g) tins plum tomatoes with basil
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
125ml red wine
50g grated Parmesan
1 tsp salt
250ml water
15g fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

For the meatballs and ribs

450g sirloin or lean beef mince, pork, turkey, veal, chicken, or any combination
2 eggs
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped
100g seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
50g grated Parmesan cheese
125ml milk
140g plain flour
450g pork spare ribs, trimmed
250ml extra-virgin olive oil
170g tinned tomato puree, for sauce and ribs
1) Drain the plum tomatoes in a colander to extract the juice, breaking the tomatoes apart with your hands. Discard the pulp and set aside.

2) Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 4 cloves garlic, the onion, chilli and black pepper. Saute until the onion is soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

3) Add juiced tomatoes, red wine, Parmesan and salt. Add the tomato puree and the water and stir together over medium heat.

*Cook's Note: Tomato paste should be added after making meatballs and ribs.

For the meatballs:

1) Put the meat in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs and add them to the meat along with 6 cloves garlic, the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Parmesan and milk. Mix this all together with your hands. Wet your hands with water and continue to wet them as you pinch meat from the bowl and roll into 5-cm balls. Roll the balls in the flour.

2) Heat 1/2-cup of oil in a large skillet. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic and saute until golden brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the meatballs and saute over medium-high heat, turning them until they are brown all over.

*Cook's Note: As soon as you can pick them up with a fork, they are ready. You don't want them to be well done. If the meatball slides off the fork when you pick it up, it needs to cook a little longer.

For the ribs:

1) Cut the ribs apart and remove the membrane. Saute them in 125ml oil until very brown and remove.

2) Return the garlic to the oil and add tomato puree(for the sauce) to the pan; Cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 3 minutes until it softens. Remove from the heat and add to the sauce.

3) Add the meatballs and spareribs to the sauce. Bring to an easy boil, then simmer over low heat for 2 hours. Add the basil and simmer for 15 minutes more. The spareribs should be very tender, falling off the bone and the meatballs should float in the sauce.

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