For tomato sauce:
5 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice (preferably Italian)
½ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Turkish bay leaf or ½ California
Polpette (Torpedo Shaped Meatballs)
2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from an Italian or a French loaf)
⅓ cup whole milk
¾ pound ground beef chuck
¾ pound ground veal
¾ pound ground pork (not lean)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1¾ cups grated Pecorino Romano (3 1/2 ounces)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
1½ cups vegetable oil for frying
For beef braciole:
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano (2 ounces)
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1½ pounds beef top round, cut across the grain into 1/4-inch slices
For meatballs and other meats:
Reserved meat mixture and frying oil from polpette
½ cup olive oil for frying, divided
1 pound sweet Italian sausage links
1 pound hot Italian sausage links
1½ pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds country-style pork ribs
First make the Polpette (meatballs)
Stir together bread crumbs and milk in a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes.
Add meats, garlic, cheese, eggs, parsley, 1¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper to bread crumb mixture and blend with your hands until combined (do not overmix). Form 1½ cups meat mixture into small torpedo-shaped meatballs (1 level tablespoon each). Reserve remaining 4 cups meat mixture for ragù .
Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then fry meatballs in 2 batches (do not crowd), turning occasionally, until browned well and cooked through, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon and reserve oil for frying meatballs for ragù.
Make tomato sauce:
Pulse tomatoes with juice (1 can at a time) in a blender until almost smooth.
Heat oil in a wide 10-to 12-quarts heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onion until golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
Add tomato purée, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 40 to 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
Make braciole while sauce simmers:
Stir together garlic, parsley, cheese, and pancetta.
Pound top round to ⅛ inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap with a rolling pin or meat pounder. Spoon parsley mixture evenly over beef cutlets (about 3 tablespoons each). Starting with a short side, roll up cutlets and tie at each end with string to make braciole.
Form reserved meatball mixture into balls (about 16), using a ¼-cup measure.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Season braciole with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper (total) and brown well in 2 batches, turning, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large shallow pan.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and brown sausage in 2 batches, turning, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to pan with braciole.
Pat pork shoulder dry and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and brown pork shoulder all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to pan.
Pat pork ribs dry and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and brown ribs well in 2 batches, turning, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to pan.
Heat reserved oil from polpette in skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry meatballs in 2 batches (do not crowd), turning occasionally, until well browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. (Discard oil.)
Return sauce to a simmer and carefully add all meats and juices. Simmer, partially covered, gently stirring occasionally (do not break up meatballs), until all meats are tender, about 2¼ hours.
Transfer meats with tongs to a large platter. Serve with fettuccine (or pasta of your choice) and remaining sauce.