My Sunday Gravy

Sunday Gravy

  • 1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1- 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 5 to 6- 28 oz. cans whole plum tomatoes (San Marzano if available or Tuttoroso )
  • 4 Tb. chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 basil pesto cube
  • 5 to 6 meaty pork neck bones
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes


  • 2 lbs. ground veal, pork and beef (sometimes called meatloaf mix)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Sausage - 3 lbs. Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage or a mixture of both


Pass tomatoes and their liquid through a blender and set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large 5 quart pot of medium heat.  Stir in the onion and cook, stirring until wilted about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes and oregano. Add tomato paste and cook, until the tomato paste loses its raw flavor (as you would flour in a roux) about 2-3 minutes.  Add wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half.

Now the tomatoes.  I pass all the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the seeds.

It does take a little extra time, but the picture below is what will NOT go into your gravy.

Bring sauce to a boil, adjust the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring often until the sauce takes on a deep, brick red color, 2 to 3 hours.  Add basil pesto cube and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  While sauce is simmering, place sausage and pork neck bones on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake until golden brown - 30-40 minutes. 

Add sausages and pork neck bones to the simmering gravy.  Drain the fat from the baking sheet.  Add a few ladles of sauce to the baking sheet to pick up any browned bits from the sausage.  Add to the gravy.

Mix all ingredients for the meatballs.  You can bake the meatballs along with the sausage, or as I sometimes do, I form them and put them directly in the sauce.  Just give them a chance to cook a little before stirring.

After about 30 minutes to an hour - you can start dunking.  This should be done in half hour intervals, or if your really hungry, about every 15 to 20 minutes.  White bread, italian bread - take a chunk and dunk.  As the gravy simmers you may need to adjust seasonings. 

Serve with lots of crusty Italian bread and butter and a nice dry red table wine. This recipe makes about 16 cups, enough to dress about 4 lbs. of pasta.  Refrigerate up to 5 days, or freeze up to 3 months.  You will never buy a jar of pasta sauce again.