Italian Sunday Sauce


Start this sauce on Sunday morning and fill your kitchen with amazing aromas that will have your family asking when dinner's going to be ready! It's full of rich, sweet tomato flavor, subtle herbs, and savory, tender meat that's cooked right in the sauce. Ladle it over your favorite pasta and serve with buttery garlic bread.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs 40 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs
12 servings


  • 2 pounds pork neck bones

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 ¼ pounds Italian sausage links

  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped white onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 (12 ounce) cans tomato paste

  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree

  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 7 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar, or more to taste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon dried basil

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 12 large cooked meatballs


  1. Sprinkle neck bones on all sides with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat 4 teaspoons oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place neck bones in the pot and cook for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer to a plate.

  3. Add sausage links to the drippings and brown for 3 minutes on each side, adding remaining oil as needed. Set aside with the pork.

  4. Add onion to the drippings and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

  5. Add tomato puree and crushed tomatoes, than add water and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until smooth. Add bay leaf. Rub basil and oregano between your fingers to release the aroma and add to the sauce.

  6. Slice sausages into large chunks and return to the pot with the neck bones; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add meatballs, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 hours.

  7. Remove neck bones and bay leaf. Remove any meat remaining on the bones, shred, and return to the sauce.

    Italian Sunday Sauce
    Italian Sunday Sauce. Allrecipes

Cook's Notes:

For homemade meatballs, try my Best Easy Meatballs!

Neck bones are available at many grocery stores. If you can't find them, country-style ribs would be a good substitute.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

569 Calories
32g Fat
29g Carbs
43g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 569
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 2035mg 88%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 43g
Potassium 1366mg 29%

* 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