The Italian Sunday Gravy (or Sunday Sauce) is a rich, hearty, and meaty sauce that is typically served over pasta for a weekend family gathering. It’s a time-consuming dish that represents family and tradition in many Italian-American households. The combination of different meats, long cooking time, and the inclusion of red wine provides a deep and complex flavor to the sauce.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the recipe:
Combination of ground beef and pork, seasoned with garlic, Italian seasonings, and fresh parsley, bound together with eggs, milk, and Italian style breadcrumbs.
A rich tomato sauce made with whole San Marzano tomatoes, red wine, fresh and dried herbs. It gets its deep flavor and richness from the addition of various meats – short ribs, Italian sausage, and meatballs.
- Meatballs are first mixed and shaped, then refrigerated.
- Meats (short ribs, sausages, and meatballs) are browned separately in olive oil. This searing enhances the flavor.
- Aromatic vegetables (onions and carrots) are sautéed, followed by garlic.
- The pot is deglazed with red wine, ensuring all the flavorful bits stuck at the bottom are lifted.
- Tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, and water are added to create the sauce base.
- The meats are added back in stages, allowing each type to cook and infuse the sauce with flavor.
- After hours of slow cooking, the meats become tender, and the sauce thickens and intensifies in flavor.
- Before serving, excess fat is skimmed off, and final seasoning adjustments are made.
Pour the sauce and meats over your favorite type of pasta, and sprinkle with parmesan. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
This dish is high in calories, with a good amount coming from fats due to the various meats used. It’s a rich and hearty meal, so moderation is key if you’re watching your caloric intake.
It’s a dish that evokes feelings of nostalgia for many, representing the love and care that goes into preparing a meal for loved ones. It’s the perfect dish for Sunday family dinners, where the process of cooking can be as enjoyable as the meal itself.