Serves 6-8 | Total Cook Time: 4-6 hours
1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Make the meatballs first. Add the ground beef, pork, and veal to a large bowl. Then add 2 cloves of garlic (through a garlic press if you have one, if not finely minced), 2 eggs, 1 cup of parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons of ricotta, 1 cup of bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix until everything is incorporated, but do not over-mix or your meatballs will be tough. If the mixture feels wet, add more breadcrumbs. This next step is totally optional but I like to do it to taste my meatballs. I form one tiny meatball and sauce in a small pan until cooked through and taste for seasonings, and adjust accordingly. Then, form your meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes then remove and set aside.
3. While the meatballs bake, make the braciola. Pound each piece of steak with a meat mallet until thin. Season each piece with salt and pepper then sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic, 1 tablespoon parmesan, 1 tablespoon bread crumbs, and pinch of lemon zest. Then, roll up each piece and tie with kitchen twine. Then, take out a large stock pot (this pot is for the sauce) and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bring to a high heat and then brown the braciola on each side for a couple minutes until a beautiful golden brown crust is formed. You may have to do this in batches to not overcrowd your pot. Once the meat is browned, remove and set aside. Then in the same pot add the sausage and do the same thing: brown. Cook for a few minutes on high heat and remove. Last are your country ribs. Season with salt and pepper then brown. Remove and set aside with the rest of the meats.
3. After browning, we start our sauce. The leftover bits at the bottom of the pan is where all of the flavor is! If there is too much fat left in the pot, remove as much as you like. Then, add in 1 teaspoon or or (depending on how much residual fat in left in your pot) of olive oil to the pot and bring to a medium heat. Add the onions, plus a pinch of salt and then sauté for about 5-7 minutes. Next, add 4 cloves of minced garlic and cook for additional minute or so. After the garlic becomes fragrant, in the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and basil. Mix, bring up to a boil, then down to a simmer and then add all of your browned meats into the pot. Simmer for 4-6 hours or until the braciola is falling apart and all of your meat has braised. Right before serving I like to add more fresh basil and parsley.
4. In the last 20 minutes of your sauce, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and then add your favorite pasta. Cook until al dente. Then, I like to add 1-2 cups of the sauce on top of the pasta. Mix together. To serve, I like to add the gravy to a large bowl, then the pasta to another bowl and serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese!