As one of the most beautiful love stories, even that of Neapolitan ragù it starts right in the kitchen, more precisely on a Sunday morning, very early. We are in Italy, in a Neapolitan cuisine, between the scent of food and every delicacy! Yes, that's how it starts, by finely slicing the onion and dipping it into a saucepan with a drizzle of oil until it wilts. Then add the various cuts of meat, the red wine to blend, the tomato sauce and cook very slowly. Yes, for this type of sauce you need intangible ingredients: the weather and the patience.
A Neapolitan tradition
The Neapolitan ragù it is the forerunner for all other dual-use sauces or ragu. Yes, as you well know, once ready, the Neapolitan ragù sauce is used to season a good dish of pasta (better if Neapolitan ziti or broken mezzani) and the meat is served as a main course. Soft chops, sausages and steak cooked in the sauce for 3 hours or more over low heat … the goodness? Its delicacy has also won over two song writers Neapolitan, Eduardo De Filippo who sings its preparation in Saturday, Sunday and Monday And Giuseppe Marotta in the famous The gold of Naples.
The secret is to let the meat sauce "pippiare"
A Campania term that wants to emphasize the dessert sound (don't call it noise!) of the boiling sauce. A slow cooking, to be checked from time to time to make sure that the sauce is not too dry, to turn gently and taste to make sure that it is not lacking in salt, that it is perfect. Yes, because the Neapolitan ragù, like all those that have a double use, have a great one responsibility: they must be tasty to the right point to season the pasta and the meat must be cooked to perfection, soft and juicy.
The preparation of the ragù Neapolitan
A sauce rich in nuances, tradition and passion. Here are the doses for 6 people: 100 g of raw ham fillets, 50 g of salted bacon strips, 1.5 kg of rump or leg of pork, 50 g of lard, 400 g of onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 50 g of bacon, 1 dl of oil, 2,5 dl of dry red wine, 400 g of tomato paste (or 200 g of concentrate and 100 of tomato sauce).
Get ready to lard: take 100 g of raw ham and 50 of salted bacon strips to which you will have to add ground pepper and chopped parsley. Now lard 1.5 kg of meat with raw ham and bacon and tie it to keep it in shape.
Saute: finely chop 50 g of lard, 400 g of onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 50 g of bacon, put the mince in a saucepan with 1 dl of oil and fry over low heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle add the meat, close the lid and brown it on all sides, turning it from time to time.
A secret: browning the meat on all sides allows you to seal all the pores so that it does not lose all its liquids during cooking and that it can remain soft and juicy.
When the onions are golden brown, open the lid and add little by little 2.5 dl of dry red wine. Leave uncovered until the wine evaporates (this will take about 2 hours) and the meat will continue to cook in its own fat. Carry on slightly raising the fire.
At this point, add 2 tablespoons of double tomato concentrate, do it fry and keep stirring until it becomes very dark. Be careful not to let it burn! Subsequently, repeat the operation until you have added all the tomato paste. Cook gently for about 3 hours, taking care to mix and turn the meat to let it flavor.
In the end, add the tomato sauce, a pinch of salt and a ladle of water and cook uncovered for about an hour then, gently remove the meat and leave it aside. Continue by covering the pot and let peppiare for an hour and a half until the sauce has thickened.
Now taste, season with salt and put the meat back in the saucepan, bring back to a boil and start cooking the pasta!
What if the sauce is too much? It doesn't happen, but if it happens … Pour the still very hot sauce of the Neapolitan ragù in a glass jar, close it hermetically and let it cool upside down, as if it were a preserve.