Hearty Meat And Tomato Sauce Needs A Slow Simmer

Special To The Courant

When time is limited, a simple marinara sauce cooks in about 30 minutes and tastes far fresher than store-bought sauce.

Its slow-simmered counterpart takes time – there's no way around it. A hearty meat and tomato sauce needs to bubble gently on the stove for hours. During that time, the tomato puree thickens and reduces and the meat, particularly if it's on the bone, infuses the sauce with flavor.

When we make the commitment to prepare such a sauce, we make it worth our while. By doubling or tripling the recipe, we can make enough to ladle into just the right portions and tuck into the freezer for future use.


>>1 tablespoon olive oil

>>2- to 2-1/2 pounds baby back pork ribs

>>2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

>>½ cup red wine

>>1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

>>4 (28-ounce each) cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice

>>2 tablespoons pesto

>>1 pinch dried rosemary

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Brown ribs on all sides in olive oil in a large saucepot over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Remove ribs from pan, and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds; do not let garlic brown. Add red wine, and cook until reduced. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, until heated through. Add tomatoes and their juice, and cook over medium heat, crushing the tomatoes well against the side of the pan, until mixture begins to bubble.

Stir in pesto and rosemary. Return bones to the pot, and simmer over low heat — the sauce should be slightly bubbling — for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is falling from the bones.

Remove bones from pan and allow to cool. Remove the meat from the bones, and return meat to the pot; discard bones. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 6 cups sauce.

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