Sunday Gravy (Real Italian Spaghetti Sauce)and Meatballs

Total Time
3hrs 10mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins

Sauce the way mamas in ital make it--meatballs that melt in your mouth. If I was on death row this is what I would want! God's honest truth! PLEASE PLEASE use it for Ziti Al Forno (From the Sopranos Family Cookbook)--it's amazing.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. SAUCE: Heat oil in large heavy pot (use a seasoned pot if you have one). Place the pork in the pot and brown until just about cooked. Transfer pork to plate. Do the same with the sausage and transfer to plate. Leave fat in pot. Add whole peeled garlic cloves cook until tender. Put garlic on plate with meat and stir in tomato paste until "saucy". Chop up tomatoes leaving the tomato juice in the cans (I use my chopper) and add them to the pot.
  2. Then add 1/2 of one can of the juice to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the meats and garlic to the sauce and bring to a boil. Turn down to low and cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Leave the sauce on low and remove all the meat and garlic cloves.
  3. Mix all ingredients for meatballs and shape into balls. Add to sauce turn up just a little higher than low and let cook the raw meatballs until they are done (1/2 hour) THATS IT!
  4. Now this is an old recipe, but I have seen it in the sopranos cookbook and this is a bit different.
  5. I used this sauce to make the ziti al forno from the sopranos cookbook (Recipe #73939) and it was the most amazing thing I have ever eaten, so I posted that too.


Most Helpful

Okay here are my comments as I just happened to stumble across this. This is *not* marinara or 'spaghetti sauce'as Americans view spaghetti sauce. It IS Italian Gravy, a very different animal, and I have been making it for over 25 years ever since my 1st trip to Italy in my teens. You find this nearly all over Italy and it is not Italian-American food but Italian food; the real deal. Foods are not over done in flavors in any way in Italy and it is said there that if you can smell garlic when one is cooking that they have used too much. While there are the arribiatas and such, Italian gravy is a standard. While garlic may be used in nearly all cooking, sometimes to feed 10+ people there is a single clove. The essences of flavors are important, not a kick in the face for the most part. This should not be thick, is what we may think of as bland, but rest assured it is *authentic Italian* and used on and in not only spaghetti but I saw it most as a topping meats in Italy.

Hajar Elizabeth November 27, 2006

I really couldn't rate this recipe for a number of reasons, but I still wanted to post my comments. I made this gravy this evening and it turned out really bland and didn't have much zip to it. For starters, I halved the recipe and maybe it was a recipe that was meant to be prepared in full quantity. I also had trouble with the quantities in the instructions in the first place. How much olive oil? 3 cans of tomatoes can be 16 oz or 28 oz cans, I used the 28 oz cans; how much basil should be used and when does it go into the sauce? I used the pork neck bones and the mild Italian sausage as directed and figured that would add lots of flavor, but unfortunately it did not. My family politely ate one plate, but no one went back for seconds and they told me thanks for all the work that it was pretty good. "My hubby then said, babe if you want to stick with Prego, I'm fine with that since its less work and tastes better than this stuff." I will admit the meatballs were very tender, but nothing spectacular as far as taste. Again, this could be due to my error somehow, maybe someone can advise what I may have done wrong or can describe the flavor the sauce should have? I really wished we liked this more, but it was not thick, quite soupy, and tasted like a can of tomatoes with not much added to it. Sorry, but I probably wouldn't make this again.

shimmerchk April 19, 2004

I am giving this rating five stars on the meatballs alone. I have not made the sauce as I make a sauce that I love; however, my meatballs always have come out not so much! These are absolutely delicious. If you are looking for truly delicious meatballs, you have found them and trust me, I've tried about every recipe out there!!

velinarogers March 01, 2012

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