Ragù alla Napoletana

  • Serves

    serves 6


This recipe is based on one that Sandro Manzo, an Italian art dealer who now lives in New York, learned from his mother during his youth in southern Italy. Manzo serves the ragu family style, spooned over ziti, but another tubular dried pasta, such as penne or rigatoni, would make a perfectly acceptable substitute.

What You Will Need


  • 12 cup pine nuts, chopped
  • 12 cup raisins, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb. beef chuck, sliced to ⅛-inch thickness salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 12 cup red wine
  • 1-2 (35-oz.) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (12-oz.) can tomato paste
  • Grated parmesan, for serving


Step 1

In a small bowl, combine pine nuts, raisins, and garlic. Lay meat slices on a work surface and season them lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle pine nut and raisin mixture on one side of the slices. Roll slices up and secure them with a toothpick or kitchen twine.

Step 2

Place rolls in a large, deep sauté pan and add oil, onions, and 4 cups water. Place over medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until water has evaporated, about 1 hour.

Step 3

Continue cooking, turning rolls with tongs, until they are lightly browned on all sides. Add wine to pan and cook until evaporated. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce is very thick, about 2 hours.

Step 4

Remove meat from pan with tongs; remove toothpicks or cut twine. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over a cooked tubular pasta, such as penne or ziti, top with meat, and serve with grated parmesan cheese on the side.

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