This recipe does take a long time, but requires very little effort, and you'll be rewarded with a wonderful, richly-flavored sauce. The hardest thing will be getting some neck bones, but a quick conversation with your friendly neighborhood butcher should be all you need. You can use any prepared tomato-based pasta sauce in place of the tomato sauce, if desired.

Chef John
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spread neck bones and onions out in the bottom of a roasting pan.

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  • Roast in the preheated oven until bones are browned and caramelized, 45 minutes.

  • Combine beef and onions, tomato sauce, and water in a large pot; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer, skimming fat and adding water as needed, until meat is falling off the bones, about 6 hours.

  • Stir parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and ground black pepper into tomato sauce mixture; simmer until flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain.

  • Stir penne and 1/2 of the sauce together in a bowl with some of the Parmesan cheese. Spoon into bowls and top with remaining sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

243 calories; 2.2 g total fat; 2 mg cholesterol; 544 mg sodium. 47.8 g carbohydrates; 9.9 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (3)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2017
I am Sicilian and have been making my own 8 hour sauce for many years. I tried this even though it doesn't call for any garlic in the recipe. I used closer to 4 lbs. of beef neck bones simmered for 6 hours. My wife and I were very impressed with the sauce. It is very very good. One word of caution especially families with young children the beef neck bones tend to have tiny pieces of bone as they are cut on the butcher's band saw. I was careful in removing the bones and my wife still found two small pieces of bone in her dish. Read More
(5)
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2017
I am Sicilian and have been making my own 8 hour sauce for many years. I tried this even though it doesn't call for any garlic in the recipe. I used closer to 4 lbs. of beef neck bones simmered for 6 hours. My wife and I were very impressed with the sauce. It is very very good. One word of caution especially families with young children the beef neck bones tend to have tiny pieces of bone as they are cut on the butcher's band saw. I was careful in removing the bones and my wife still found two small pieces of bone in her dish. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2017
I am Sicilian and have been making my own 8 hour sauce for many years. I tried this even though it doesn't call for any garlic in the recipe. I used closer to 4 lbs. of beef neck bones simmered for 6 hours. My wife and I were very impressed with the sauce. It is very very good. One word of caution especially families with young children the beef neck bones tend to have tiny pieces of bone as they are cut on the butcher's band saw. I was careful in removing the bones and my wife still found two small pieces of bone in her dish. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2015
The sauce was delicious! It was worth the 6 hours on the stove. The only difficult thing is finding BEEF neck bones at the local food market! I had to go to several stores to find them. This sauce has a savory sweet flavor from the beef neck bones. I will never use pork neck bones again for my sauce. I made a small pot of it and wished I made more to freeze. The sauce gets even better the second day! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/03/2020
I made this today all day long and as usual for a Chef John recipe it came out delicious. I didn't change anything but did add more tomato sauce and water then it called for but in the recipe Chef John said to taste so that was not really a change. At the end I added some pasta water also. I used Beef neck bones as he did but I bet if I used Pork neck bones it was be very delicious too. I have made several of Chef John's recipes and I never worry about any of them coming out perfectly delicious because he is pretty consistently good at creating them. Read More