Italian Sunday Gravy

Melissa Turner Recipe

By Melissa Turner Mlturner908

2 Hr
4 Hr
Stove Top

Amazing and absolutely delicious Sunday gravy passed down from my great grandmother. Italian red sauce with lots of meats and fresh herbs. Great recipe for a family meal or to impress guest with your authentic Italian cooking.


4 lb
ground beef/veal/pork (can make with just beef and pork)
bone in pork chops
2 lb
penne rigate
gigantic yellow onion
head of garlic
fresh batch of basil
batch fresh parsley
hot italian sausage links
slices white bread
1 c
1 c
extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 c
dry white wine (holland house cooking wine works just fine)
3 29 oz
cans tomato puree
1 can(s)
tomato paste
2 Tbsp
oregano leaves
2 Tbsp

Directions Step-By-Step

Dice the onion and 5 cloves of garlic. Chop your basil and set aside.
Put your ground beef/pork/veal in a big bowl. Add salt, pepper, a little bit of oregano, 1/2 cup of cheese, and egg.
Put you slices of bread in a cereal bowl can cover with milk.
In a large frying pan saute 1/2 of your onions, 1/2 your garlic and 1/2 your basil in 2 tablespoons of evoo. Slow and low here, do not burn your garlic. Saute until onions are translucent approximately 15 mins. When done add to your bowl of meat. Set aside pan to cook meats in a bit.
Squeeze out half your milk from the bread and add to meat. With your hands mix your meat mixture together for about 5 mins. Get it good and mixed up. Set aside.
Time to start the sauce. In a BIG sauce pan add another 2 tablespoons of evoo, saute the rest of your onion, garlic, basil slow and low. When onions are translucent add 3 cans tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cans water (don't worry water will cook out over the next few hours. It will not water down your sauce.) Add your oregano leaf and sugar stir and simmer sauce on med low heat.
Time to brown your meatballs. In your frying pan add about one inch of oil. Roll your meatballs out by hand med to large size. Brown meatballs on both sides. Do not have to cook them all the way through. They will finish cooking in your sauce and add flavor to the sauce by not cooking through. You will have to do this in batches most likely. Once finished browning add to the sauce.
In same pan you cooked the meatballs brown your chops. Add them to your sauce. Now brown your sausage links in same pan. Cut browned sausage links into pieces and add to sauce.
Time to deglaze your pan all the meats were cooked in. Drain excess oil from the pan. Put the empty oily pan on med heat. Pour wine in pan once hot. The pan will smoke at first. This is okay. Simmer for a couple of mins until the alcohol has cooked off. Now pour this into your sauce.
Let your sauce simmer on low heat for the next 3 hours. During this time you will have fats rise to the top. You can skim most of the fat off if you choose. I stir it all back in for this is where a lot of your flavor comes from.
Sauce close to done. Time to cook pasta. Cook your pasta al dente for about 11-12 mins. Drain then toss with some of your cheese to the sauce will adhere to the pasta better. Remove pork chop bones ( you will prob have to look for these because the fell of the chop)
Place pasta on a big serving platter or bowl. Spoon sauce over pasta. Top with parsley and additional cheese. Put extra sauce in a separate bowl and place on the table for quest to add extra if they choose.
Serve with a loaf of bread and butter and enjoy.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta, Gravies, Pork
Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Italian

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Andy Silverman Boomdog02
Mar 2, 2014
Old Italian grandmothers will tell you to slowly simmer until you see the thin line of fat around the edge of the pot...then the sauce is done.
Apr 14, 2013
Melissa, First of all THANK YOU for calling it gravy!! My old school Italian family always called it gravy! This recipe comes oj so close to our family original. We don't use veal in our meatballs but we add 1 link of hot and 1 link of sweet sausage instead. Back in the day my mom used to ask the butcher for a "piece of beef and a piece of pork for gravy" and he knew exactly what to give her, now I usually dont add beef because of the meatballs but I do use boneless ribs. We never used sugar and we use crushed & whole tomatoes, just different variations but it's all GRAVY! Thanks again***
Lucia Ruocchio Lucia55
Apr 14, 2013
This recipe is similar to mine....instead of pork chops, I used country style bone-in pork ribs and instead of parmesan cheese I use pecorino romano. Sometimes when feeling energetic, I pair it with my own homemade pasta. Also a 3 hour cooking sauce, my family suffers from temptation smelling it cook all day :-)
angel cutliff angenitals
Mar 8, 2013
I tried this recipe and say it's Family Tested & Approved!
Patsy G lovetocookpatsy
Oct 3, 2012
That's what I Love!