Time: Approximately 4 1/2 hours
Ingredients for Ragu
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
6 tbs. flat-leaf Italian parsley
2 stalks celery, washed and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled
4 oz. pancetta
4 tbs. olive oil
1 to 1-1/2 pound “country-style” pork spare ribs (for flavor)
2 bottles white wine (For a slightly richer flavor, combine a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine .)
8 oz. tomato paste
56 oz. crushed Italian plum tomatoes (canned)
8 sweet Italian sausages
Tip: If you want extra sauce for assembly or to serve alongside the Timpano later, consider adding an extra can (28 ounces) of tomatoes and more wine (1 cup).
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Steps to make Ragu
- Put the loosely chopped onion, celery, carrot, garlic, pancetta and parsley in a food processor and pulse about 10 times for one second each pulse (or chop finely).
- Heat a large pot over medium heat (We use a 15-quart Dutch oven).
- Heat the olive oil in the pot.
- Add the chopped vegetable/pancetta mixture (also known as battuto) to the pot.
- Lower the heat and sauté the battuto for 10-15 minutes or until soften and browned very lightly
- Add the pork ribs, cover the pot and cook over low heat for one hour.
- At the end of the hour, uncover the pot, raise the heat to high and add the wine.
- Allow the wine to boil for a minute or two to burn off the alcohol.
- Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer uncovered gently for about an hour.
- Remove the ribs. (The ribs have great flavor so don’t discard them. Eat and enjoy!)
- Whisk in the tomato paste.
- Add the plum tomatoes and stir, breaking up the tomatoes, to combine with the wine reduction and tomato paste.
- Add the Italian sausages.
- Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 90 minutes.
- At the end of the 90 minutes, remove the Italian sausages and reserve for the Timpano.
- Cover the pot and reserve the Ragu for the Timpano.