Total Time
8hrs 50mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 8 hrs 30 mins

"Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen," episode 103, "Feeding a Crowd, Italian-Style". Recipe calls for "Country-style pork spareribs" but RZ did not have nutritional data for them entered that way. Make sure you use country-style ribs; baby backs don't add much flavor and will be dry.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Brown sausages in a large pot. When browned on all sides, remove to a paper-towel lined plate.
  2. Add onions to pot and saute 6-8 minutes until onions are quite soft and caramelized, and the liquid from the onions has deglazed the pot bottom. Add oregano and garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes until it loses the raw flavor. Add red wine and stir well, scraping up any fond on the bottom of the pot. Transfer contents of pot into slow cooker.
  3. Add tomato sauce and drained tomatoes to slow cooker. Add drained sausages, flank steak and country-style ribs, covering completely with sauce. Cook 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
  4. Remove spareribs and flank steak. Slice flank steak into 2" pieces across the grain, then shred both steak and pork with two forks. Discard bones and gristle. Slice sausages in half lengthwise. Return all the meats to the sauce and stir well. Add basil and stir. Serve over pasta.
Most Helpful

I got this recipe from the Cook's Country Magazine and have been using it to feed crowds in my home for the last three years. We use crushed tomatoes instead of the combo of diced/sauce. This recipe fills my 7 quart crock pot right up to the brim, so sometimes we only use one 28 oz can of tomatoes instead of two. People ALWAYS ask me for this recipe.

3LittleBirds February 14, 2010

I am the daughter of an off the boat Italian who was brought up eating Macaroni (we call it sauce not gravy) and meatballs every sunday at my grandmas house for as long as I can remember. I have made this recipe 4 or 5 times now and will continue to do so. This recipe is almost as good as my grandmoms. This is now my "Sunday Gravy."

Chefto3 February 22, 2009

Thank you so much for posting this. It is fantastic! I am making this with 2 lbs of hot italian sausage and leaving out the flank steak and ribs this time but I'll try it with the next time I make it. I can't believe how much flavor it has, I can't keep my spoon out of it. I thought 12 garlic cloves was a lot but it's actually perfect. Can't wait to make this for my Italian sister-in-law. It is far better than her bland watered down sauce.

kjshay October 28, 2008