For the Sauce
1 lb meaty pork neck bones or 1 lb
1 lb veal stew meat or 2
veal shoulder chops
3 (28 ounce) cans
peeled Italian tomatoes
fresh basil, torn into small pieces
For the Meatballs
( or combination of beef or pork)
finely minced garlic
1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese or 1/2 cup
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lb pasta shells or 1 lb
rigatoni pasta, cooked and hot
freshly grated romano cheese or
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
- Pat the pork dry and put the pieces in the pot.
- Cook turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned on all sides.
- Transfer pork to a plate.
- Brown the veal in the same way and add it to the plate.
- Place the sausages in the pot and brown on all sides.
- Set the sausages aside with the pork.
- Drain off most of the fat from the pot.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes or until golden.
- Remove and discard the garlic.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- With a food mill (I use a Braun hand blender) puree the tomatoes, with their juice into the pot.
- Or for a chunkier sauce, just chop up the tomatoes and add them.
- Add the water; and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pork, veal, sausages, and basil and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Partially cover the pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little more water.
- Meanwhile, make the meatballs: Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl.
- Mix together thoroughly.
- Rinse your hands with cool water and lightly shape the mixture into 2 inch balls.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet.
- Add the meatballs and brown them well on all sides.
- They will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
- After the sauce has cooked for its two hours, add the meatballs and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the meats are very tender.
- To serve, remove the meats from the sauce and set aside.
- Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Serve the meats as a second course, or reserve them for another day.