Grandma's Sunday Sauce

Sunday sauce with ribs and sausages or meatballs.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 25 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
8 servings


  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound pork ribs, chopped

  • 6 (3.5 ounce) links Italian sausages

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup red wine, divided

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes in juice

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch white sugar

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pot and cook pork ribs until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Cook sausages until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the same plate as the ribs.

  2. Drain off some of the excess fat. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in remaining olive oil. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook and stir until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute; make sure not to burn. Pour in 1/2 of the red wine and scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

  3. Add tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir until paste starts to darken, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining red wine and water.

  4. Add tomatoes and their juices, crushing by hand as you add them to the pot. Season with basil, remaining salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a low simmer. Taste and add sugar if sauce is too acidic.

  5. Return ribs to the pot. Simmer, partially covered, adding more liquid if needed, for at least 2 hours. Add sausages back to the pot for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Add fresh basil during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Discard bones before serving.

Cook's Note:

Substitute 1 pound meatballs for the sausages if preferred.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

376 Calories
28g Fat
14g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 376
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 1313mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 22mg 109%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 697mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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