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Rotelle with Grandma's
Sunday Meat Sauce



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Rotelle with Grandma's
Sunday Meat Sauce

Pasta: Italian, Asian, American...and More

Food & Wine Books, Editor in Chief: Judith Hill,
1997, American Express Publishing Corp.


“Grace Parisi, one of our favorite cooks, told us,
‘A Sunday visit with my grandmother in Brooklyn wouldn’t
have been complete without pasta covered with this rich and
hearty sauce. She always sent us home with enough leftovers
for two more meals.' ”

Wine Recommendation:  Match this full-flavored, family-style
pasta with a robust, young red wine. Look for a very recent vintage
of  Chianti or Chianti Classico from Italy. An American alternative
(which some believe to have Italian origins) is a young Zinfandel
from California.

Food & Wine - One Year Subscription 

Serves 6

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder,
cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound boneless veal shoulder,
cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
2 onions, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
(28-ounce can)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 slice firm white bread
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons flour
1 pound rotelle (wagon wheels)

1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately
high heat. Add the pork cubes to the pan and cook until brown on
all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and brown the veal. Remove
and brown the sausage. Cut the sausage into 1-inch pieces.
2. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add half the onions and a quarter of the garlic
and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Return the pork, veal, and sausage to the pan. Add the crushed
tomatoes, water, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, bay leaf, 1/4 tea-
spoon of the thyme, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon
of the pepper. Simmer the sauce, covered, stirring occasionally,
1 1/2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, make the meatballs: In a medium frying pan, heat 1
teaspoon of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the remaining
onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent,
about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and the
rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to
a medium bowl to cool.
4. In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk until soggy. Mix in the
egg, Parmesan, parsley, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4
teaspoon pepper. Add the bread mixture, ground beef and ground
pork to the onions and garlic and mix well.
5. Shape the mixture into 6 meatballs. Dust the meatballs lightly with
flour. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the frying pan over
moderately high heat. Brown the meatballs, about 3 minutes. Add
the meatballs to the sauce and cook, partially covered, 30 minutes
6. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rotelle until just
done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Transfer the pasta to a large platter.
Arrange all the meats around the edge and pour the sauce on top.

~ Grace Parisi

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