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Tagliatelle with Ragù alla Napoletana ( AKA Sunday Gravy)

Tagliatelle with Ragù alla Napoletana ( AKA Sunday Gravy)


In many parts of Italy, Sundays mean pasta and sauce, with choices ranging from classic tomato sauce to the renowned Bolognese. But there's one meaty sauce that may not be as globally famous but holds a special place across Italy – Ragù alla Napoletana.

Now, this hearty sauce is a staple for Sunday family gatherings. It's a bit of a debate in the Italian-American community – is it sauce or gravy? Picture Nonna's house, where the magic happens. Early in the morning, Nonna puts a pot on the stove, and for the next 4 to 5 hours, the entire house gets enveloped in the delightful aroma of this special sauce.

Let's address the age-old question: why call it gravy? Traditionally, gravy might remind you of the Thanksgiving drizzle over turkey or mashed potatoes. However, in the case of Tagliatelle with Sunday Gravy, it's a nod to the meaty essence that takes the lead, with tomatoes playing a crucial supporting role.

So, imagine this – a rich, flavorful sauce with budget-friendly meat cuts slow-cooked to perfection. It's not just a sauce; it's a tradition, a Sunday ritual that envelops you the moment you walk in.

Despite any linguistic debates, chef Luca Manfè found his peace with it – He proudly calls it Sunday Gravy.

Join Luca in savoring the comforting embrace of this classic dish that transcends debate and unites generations in the joy of a shared meal.


Difficulty: medium

Time of Preparation: 14 min

Time of Cooking:  4 hours and 30 minutes

Doses for : 6 people

Doses for: 4 people



1 onion, small diced

2 carrots, small diced

2 celery stalks, small diced

4 garlic cloves, thinky sliced

1lb sweet Italian sausage

1lb beef shank

1.5lbs short ribs

2lbs pork loin ribs

½ liter red wine

2 cans whole peeled tomatoes with basil


Parmigiano Reggiano

1lb fresh tagliatelle 

Fresh Parsley for garnish


Black pepper



1. Season all the meat with salt and pepper.

2. Sear all the meat in a large saucepan with some olive oil. Do not over crowed the pan so you may need to do it in a couple of batches.

3. Remove the meat and, in the same pan, cook down the vegetables for 10 minutes on medium heat.

4. Add the meat back in the pan, turn the heat on high and add the red wine.           Reduce by half.

5. Open the canned tomatoes and pour them in a bowl. Crash the tomatoes with your hands and then add them to the meat. Pour 1 cup of water in the bowl and rinse the tomatoes off the sides and pour in the pot.

6. Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat to a simmer and cook for at least 4 hours, until the meat is very tender.

7. Bring a large pot of salted water to a bowl. Cook the pasta as directed in the package.

8. Pour a few ladles of sauce in a large sauté pan. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and sauté for a few minutes on a high heat so the pasta can absorb the sauce.

9. Plate in pasta bowl and spoon some meat in every dish. Garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

10. Buon appetito!

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