The two most famous ragùs of Italy are from Bologna and Naples. The main differences are that the Bolognese use ground meat in the sauce and serve it over pasta, while the Napoletanos cook the whole meat in the sauce but remove it and use it as a second course.
Ragù or “Sunday Gravy”? If you go to Italy and ask for gravy, they won’t know what you’re talking about. The word “gravy” is not related to any sauce; it is an Italian-American term that came from immigrant families mostly from Naples.
Because it’s summer, I made a lighter version of this sauce by eliminating the sausage and a few other ingredients that would make this recipe heavier. This is traditionally the Sunday dish served in Naples, when the whole family gathers around to spend the day together and enjoy good food and wine!
As in the Italian tradition, the braciole is served as a second course, never on the same plate with the pasta.
Here’s the ragu Napoletano recipe:
Ragù Napoletano - Neapolitan-Style Italian Meat Sauce with Paccheri Pasta Recipe
Although this recipe takes some time to prepare, the result is a filling two-course meal. Ragù Napoletano involves cooking meat in a gravy-like sauce, then serving the sauce over pasta as a first course. The meat, or braciole, is then served as the second course. Thrown in a leafy salad and you have a full three-course dinner!