1 small loaf stale Italian bread (about 8 thick slices) torn into 2 1/2” chunks
2 lbs. 80% lean ground beef chuck, broken up
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil for frying
Ragu Ingredients: (Serves 8-10)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 ½ lbs (6-8) meaty, bone-in-pork spareribs, rinsed
1 ½ lbs (6-8) sweet Italian sausage with fennel seeds, pierced all over with a fork
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup red wine
3 (35 oz.) cans tomato puree
1 handful fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon Calabrian chili or ½ teaspoon of red chili flakes
Put bread in a bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Let stand for 5 minutes, turning to moisten evenly. Gently squeeze out excess water.
Add beef, garlic, parsley, egg and ¾ cup of Parmigiano to the bread and combine. Season with Salt and pepper. Knead the mixture for at least 5 minutes with your hands, until uniformly combined and smooth.
Pinch a tablespoon of meat into your palms and shape into a ball. Place on a baking sheet and continue with the rest of the mixture.
Fill a 10” skillet halfway with canola oil and heat over high heat. When strands form along the bottom, lower 8-10 meatballs at a time into the oil. Do not overcrowd. They should be ¾ submerged in oil. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for 6-7 minutes each side, turning only once.
Remove the meatballs from the oil and turn the heat back up to high before starting the second batch.
20 minutes before serving, add the meatballs to the simmering ragu.
Warm olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat.
Add celery and onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, partially covered about 5 minutes until golden and soft.
Add meats and raise the heat to medium-high. Sauté, turning occasionally until browned all over.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, 5 minutes.
Add tomato puree, basil, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Partially cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Let it simmer 1 ½-2 hours.