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Ravioli With Meatballs and Sauce

In my family, the Thanksgiving turkey always took a back seat to my grandmother's ravioli. I remember the aroma of her sauce simmering on the stove while she cut and shaped each ravioli by hand and did it as well as any of today's pasta machines. Serving ravioli on Thanksgiving is a tradition we carry on to this day -- although I have to admit we don't make our own ravioli -- we buy it frozen.

Meatballs:

1 1/2 pounds ground round
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste (we used 1/8 teaspoon of each)
1 pound boneless pork ribs (used for flavoring the sauce)

Sauce:

2 (28-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

For the meatballs: Combine all meatball ingredients except pork ribs and shape into balls about 1 inch in diameter

Brown meatballs; set aside.

Drain grease from pan; brown pork ribs and set aside.

In a large pot or stockpot, combine all ingredients. Add meatballs and ribs. Cook on very low for at least 5 hours or until sauce thickens. Stir often.

Cook ravioli according to package directions; serve with sauce and meatballs and pork.

The Secret: Making the sauce the day before is a real help on an already hectic day. Any leftover sauce can be frozen in freezer bags or plastic containers.

Arlene Burnett

Thursday, November 18, 1999



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