Rating: 4.5 stars
34 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 29
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2

My mother's family originally came from Sicily and every family member makes his or her own version - this version came most recently via Brooklyn. If there are any leftovers, they freeze very well. MANGIA! Serve with red wine and a good loaf of crusty Italian bread.


Recipe Summary

40 mins
4 hrs 15 mins
4 hrs 55 mins
24 servings


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


Instructions Checklist
  • To make the meatballs, combine bread and milk or water in a medium bowl. Mix in ground beef, eggs, Romano cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Form golf ball-sized meatballs; place into freezer to firm up.

  • To make sauce, heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat; stir in onion. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and 1 sausage link; cook about 3 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown beef chunks and pork neck bones; set aside.

  • When onions and garlic are done, turn heat down to low. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the browned beef and pork, crushed tomatoes, wine, bay leaves, cinnamon, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 to 4 hours.

  • Once you add the meatballs, let sauce simmer for 1 hour. When sauce is nearly ready, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Cover pasta with sauce and meatballs and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

Use your favorite meat and Italian red wine for this sauce and serve with your favorite pasta. This also is a great pizza sauce if you leave out about half of the meat.

Remove pork neck bones before serving. If you freeze the sauce, let it thaw and add 1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce to thin it slightly, if needed.

Nutrition Facts

669 calories; protein 30.8g; carbohydrates 58.6g; fat 34.4g; cholesterol 105.3mg; sodium 921.5mg. Full Nutrition