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Italian Roasted Spareribs with Tomato-Wine Sauce



We love these ribs. Not the usual American tomato-based super saucy ribs. They are more herb-based with a delicious sauce made with tomatoes, wine, and balsamic vinegar! You can make them any time of the year as they are roasted in the oven. They are delicious as is or used, with the meat cut off the bone in rice, pasta, polenta, or sandwiches. Barb L.

Serves: 6-8


For the Herb Paste:

1/3 cup Flying Olive Rosemary, Gremolata, Garlic, or a Combination of Extra Virgin Olive Oils

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley

1Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint or ½ Tbsp dried

1 tsp Flying Olive Lavender, Black Cherry, Pomegranate, 18 Year Traditional, or Denissimo Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tbsp sea salt

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the ribs:

2 racks baby back pork ribs, about 6 ½ pounds

4 Tbsp Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more as needed (Suggestion: mild-medium, or use more of the same oil(s) as above

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

0-¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes

1 cup dry, hearty red or white wine

1 (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes in juice, pureed in a blender

¾ cup pitted and coarsely chopped oil-brined black olives (Check out the great olive bar in your local store. Taste to find an olive that is more on the sweet side)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

To make the herb paste:

Puree the Flying Olive Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice, the rosemary, parsley, mint, Flying Olive Balsamic Vinegar of Choice, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender into a wet paste.

Cut the ribs in half vertically to make 4 slabs (for my pan’s size, I made them into 8 slabs). Pat the ribs dry and spread and rub the herb mixture thickly over the ribs.

Heat 2 Tbsp of the Flying Olive EVOO of Choice in a large, deep skillet or stock pot over medium-high heat. In batches, add the ribs, meaty side down. Cook until the underside is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown the other bony underside, although the ribs will only brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer the ribs, (I used aluminum foil for the bottom, for easier clean up) bone side up to a very large metal roasting pan.

Pour out the fat from the skillet or pot. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of Flying Olive EVOO of Choice and let the skillet cool for a few minutes (this will prevent the garlic from burning—not a pleasant taste when that happens!)

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium and add the wine, using a wooden spoon to stir up all the browned bits in the skillet or pot. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and boil until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Pour over the ribs and spread so the sauce runs into the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil

Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake until the ribs are very tender and the meat has pulled about ½ inch from the ends of the bones, about 45 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a carving board and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Note: at this point, I cool the ribs and refrigerate, then add the sauce to a cup and refrigerate as well. This makes skimming the fat an easy task. I refrigerate that as well. When I’m ready, later that day or the next, I proceed with the recipe.

Let the sauce stand and skim some of the fat off the surface of the sauce. Add the olives and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Boil until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Using kitchen shears or a large knife, cut between the bones. Transfer the individual ribs to a deep serving platter and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Any leftovers can be eaten on the bone or, cut the meat cut off the bones and used in sandwiches, on rice, or pasta, polenta and with any remaining sauce.

Inspired by a recipe in the beautiful cookbook by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar, Super Tuscan: Heritage Recipes and Simple Pleasures from our Kitchen to your Table. Touchstone, New York, 2017.

Submitted by Barb and Chuck L.