Sunday Gravy


This is the Sunday morning "gravy" that will energize the appetites of all in the house. Keep a few meatballs on the side for an early morning snack.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 5 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 20 mins
16 servings



  • 1 ½ slices white bread, left out overnight to become stale

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef

  • cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • ½ cup finely chopped Italian leaf parsley

  • 1 large egg

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 ½ pounds sweet Italian sausage

  • 1 ½ pounds pork ribs

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or more to taste

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped

  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 3 (28 ounce) cans unpeeled crushed tomatoes, or more as needed

  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 8 leaves fresh basil, chopped, or more to taste

  • 1 bay leaf, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine


  1. Break stale bread into very small pieces and add to a large bowl. Add beef, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and use wet hands to roll mixture into meatballs.

  2. Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer meatballs to a platter. Add sausage and pork ribs to the skillet and brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to the platter with the meatballs.

  3. Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in an 8- to 10-quart pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add whole tomatoes and mash using a potato masher. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato puree; cook, stirring frequently.

  4. Add browned sausage and ribs to the pot. Stir in sugar, basil, bay leaf, and oregano. Cook until bubbling with lid ajar, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, about 1 hour. Stir in red wine. Continue cooking about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours more.

  5. Remove sauce from heat and cover. Let sit 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  6. Return sauce to medium heat and add meatballs. Cook, stirring frequently, until bubbling, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to lowest setting until ready to serve.

Cook's Notes:

You can use 3/4 pound each beef and pork, or 1/2 pound each beef, pork, and veal, if you prefer. Italian spices can be substituted for the oregano.

When taking lid off to stir, do not let the water that accumulates on the lid go back in the pot.

I usually freeze at least two quarts of this gravy for later use.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

392 Calories
25g Fat
18g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 392
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 79mg 26%
Sodium 1075mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 27mg 137%
Calcium 122mg 9%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 936mg 20%

* 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.

You’ll Also Love