From Chef Ceasare of Maremma Tuscan Trattoria restaurant. His description of the ribs -which are a plan ahead recipe: "I received lots of good reviews when Beppe opened, but I only saved one, where the critic poked fun at me for serving inauthentic Tuscan food. I laugh now, but at the time it drove me crazy, especially her "proof" that there’s no fish in Tuscany and no cowboys who’d eat my "Tuscan spareribs." Putting aside our miles of coastline and towns like Forte di Marmi and Viareggio (she’d obviously never left her hotel when she visited Florence), it was the cowboy reference that got me the most worked up. Granted, Americans might think of cowboys as beef - not pork - eaters. But we not only have cowboys in the Maremma - the famous butteri - when Buffalo Bill competed against them in a traveling rodeo show, he lost. Of course, you won’t find a recipe for ribs this way in any Italian cookbook. They are, however, quintessentially Tuscan for me, braised alla cacciatora, or hunter’s style, in a spicy tomato sauce. You also won’t find broccoli rabe in Tuscany, but that’s what I serve with my "inauthentic" ribs, because I like the way it compliments the smoky spiciness of the meat. This is definitely a plan-ahead dish. The spareribs need to marinate with the dry rub overnight. Plus I think they taste better if you cook them a day or two in advance and keep them in the refrigerator until the time you want to serve them."
- 1⁄4 cup garlic, minced plus
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1⁄4 cup fresh sage leaf, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 7 lbs pork spareribs
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 1⁄2 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed (You can use canned crushed tomatoes, but I think the whole ones are less acidic and of higher qualit)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (like Tabasco)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Combine the minced garlic, sage, rosemary, salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper. Rub the spareribs well with this mixture and let them marinate, wrapped in plastic, at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours, in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Coat a large baking pan with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and lay the ribs in the pan. Roast stirring, every 20 minutes. After an hour, turn the ribs over and roast 1 hour more. Check the ribs periodically; if the bottom of the pan starts to burn, add a little water. Can be done ahead 24-48 hours.
- Coat a large skillet with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the sliced garlic and remaining 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper and sauté over medium heat until the garlic begins to color. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper sauce. Add 1 1/2 cups water and bring the tomato sauce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
- When the ribs have browned on both sides, remove them from the pan and drain off any excess fat. Return the ribs to the pan, adding the wine and the tomato sauce. Cover the pan with foil and braise the ribs for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and roast an additional 20 minutes. Serve immediately.