Neapolitan ragout recipe | Cooking in the Neapolitan - Rubric

Photo of pappardelle with Neapolitan sauce

New appointment with our Neapolitan cuisine section: today we face the Neapolitan sauce!

Times change, but the world falls if the Neapolitan Sunday is not enlivened by the good smell of ragout, and this is precisely the subject of this appointment in our column Cooking in the Neapolitan style!

The ragù is the classic Neapolitan sauce made with meat and tomato with which pasta is usually seasoned, in this case "macaroni". It is usually cooked early in the morning or even the day before because it is left to "pappuliare", that is, to cook and reduce the initial quantity for hours, during which it will become a dense and perfectly Neapolitan sauce!

Let's look at the recipe together, remembering that it is one of the most traditional dishes to savor on Sundays, as well as the gnocchi.


  • 300 gr. of second cut of beef (classic stew)
  • 200 gr of chops (cinnamon rolls)
  • 3 pork tips called "tracchiulelle" in dialect
  • 100 gr. rind
  • 2 white onions
  • 100 g. of "nzogna" lard
  • 100 gr of triple tomato concentrate
  • 850 ml San Marzano peeled tomatoes (the homemade tomato preserve will also be fine)

To season:

  • Red wine Qb
  • 4 5-basil leaves
  • 20 gr coarse salt


Put the chopped onion in the casserole, possibly earthenware, together with lard over low heat; heat until the lard is melted and the onion has not become transparent.
At this point it will be necessary to add the pork rind. After a while, add the stew, pork tips and chops.

Cover and let brown so as to seal the meat and make it juicy, but always on very low heat and, avoiding to cook it too much, add a few minutes later. Red wine to blend and embellish this delicious mixture of meat. Following, a handful of coarse salt.

As soon as the meat is well browned in its own fat on all sides, it will need to be added triple tomato concentrate which will fry and color the sauce. Melt this last ingredient well and, after temporarily eliminating all the meat from the casserole, add the peeled tomato, seasoned with basil leaves, and raise the heat.
This delicious sauce will have to reduce by a third to be able to welcome the meat again, which will then have to cook well for hours in the same, so "pappuliare“, And shrink further by half at very low heat. After a few hours this sauce, which recalls the lava of Vesuvio for its warmth and flavor, it is ready to be tasted first on slices of freshly baked bread and then tasted as a condiment on pasta.

This sauce, which requires a long preparation time, can be easily prepared day before and stored in a crock pot.

Notes from the cook

The chops are slices of soft pork that are usually stuffed with chopped garlic, parsley, pecorino cheese, raisins, pine nuts and seasoned with fine salt and pepper to taste before being tied with kitchen string, but it is to the inspiration and to the imagination of those who prepare them to decide how and with what to stuff them.

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Written by Nadia Portuguese
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