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A plateful of pasta topped with Italian Sunday Gravy and meatballs

Italian Sunday Gravy-Recipe Handed Down From Nonna.

Italian Sunday Gravy will get your family to the table like nothing else. Rich, hearty tomato sauce spiked with wine, succulent cuts of pork and meatballs.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Sunday Gravy
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 768kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Pounds Country Style Ribs Or Pork Neck Bones
  • 2 Pounds Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Pound Ground Pork
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Large Carrots, Peeled and Grated
  • 1 1/2 Cup Red Wine
  • 3 (28 Ounce) Cans Peeled Whole San Marzano Tomatoes Including Juice
  • 6 (6 Ounce) Cans Tomato Paste Preferably Imported From Italy
  • 8 Cups Water
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil, Julienned
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Recipe Meatballs


  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Brush the foil with olive oil. 
  • Arrange (in a single layer) pork neck bones or country-style ribs on one baking sheet and the Italian sausages on the second baking sheet. Brush the tops of all the meats lightly with olive oil.
  • Cook meats in the preheated oven, until deep golden brown on all sides, turning as needed to cook evenly. Allow approximately 1 hour for the pork necks and ribs and 40 minutes for the sausage. Set cooked meats aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a very large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, brown ground beef and pork, over medium heat, crumbling into small pieces. Remove ground meats to plate and set aside.
  • Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add onions, minced garlic, and carrots and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until they soften and begin to caramelize. 
  • Add the wine to the pot and cook, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook until the wine is reduced by half.
  • Add whole tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, water, bay leaves, oregano, fresh basil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the browned grounded meats, pork necks or country style ribs, and sausages back to the pot. Bring the gravy to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer.
  • Simmer, uncovered for about 3 1/2--4 1/2 hours. If you have the temperature right, you should see a cheerful little bubbling on the surface of the gravy. Moderate the heat to maintain this gentle simmer throughout out cooking time.
  • Stir occasionally so the meats don't stick. If the gravy becomes too thick as it simmers, add water. (If it's simmering gently, you shouldn't need to add any extra water.)
  • While the sauce simmers, make the meatball. After the sauce has cooked for 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours and is nice and thick, give it a very good stir, digging down to the bottom of the pot, then add the meatballs. Continue to simmer the gravy without stirring for another 30-40 minutes, or until the meatballs are hot and the flavors marry. Remove bay leaves. 
    You're READY to Serve. Mangia! Mangia!


Serving: 1/12 of the recipe | Calories: 768kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 288mg | Sodium: 1434mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 2185IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2.9mg