This Classic Italian Meat Sauce simmers all afternoon, fills your house with a marvelous aroma and will elicit groans of pleasure from all who indulge. Definitely worth the wait!
Out of the Ordinary Classic Italian Meat Sauce
My typical spaghetti sauce recipe requires no recipe. It’s tasty, and on occasion even memorable. But I toss in cans of tomatoes, tomato paste and sauce. Sprinkle in some Italian herbs and a few glugs of red wine if there’s an open bottle. Usually, I add Italian sausage and sometimes meatballs. It’s never the same twice in a row. But on a chilly Sunday when I’m home for the afternoon, I pull out all the stops. That’s when I make a classic Italian meat sauce and simmer a pot of gravy like a real Italian mama. Starting with country ribs and sausage, there are layers upon layers of flavor which only intensify as the pot slowly cooks for hours. Those Italians knew what they were doing—this is a winner!
Gravy or Sauce?
I grew up in Iowa, daughter of a German father and Irish mother. It was “sauce” that topped our spaghetti, not gravy. It wasn’t till I met foodies from across the US via the Internet that I heard that there was a sauce vs. gravy debate. It seemed to me that those of Italian heritage called this tomato based sauce a gravy. Whatever your preference, I know you’ll love this dish. It’s the perfect way to warm up on a chilly night.
More Warming Recipes from the Sunday Supper Tastemakers:
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- Honeycrisp Apple Tart by The Redhead Baker
- Pumpkin Cheesecake in Pumpkins by Desserts Required
- Warm Cardamom and Coconut Rice Pudding by Fearless Dining
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- Hearty Turkey Lentil Soup by A Gouda Life
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- Red Lentil Soup by My San Francisco Kitchen
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 country style pork ribs
- 1 pound Italian sausage links, may slice or keep whole
- 1 pound meatball mix (equal parts ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal) or all ground beef
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 2 large cans crushed tomatoes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- A few pinches of Romano or Parmesan
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 small can water
- In a Dutch oven, brown Italian sausage and pork ribs in a bit of olive oil. Pierce the sausage casings while the first side is browning. Remove and set aside.
- Make meatballs by mixing all ingredients. Scoop out tablespoons of mixture and form into balls. Brown in oil left in the Dutch oven, adding more if needed. Remove when browned but not cooked through.
- Add garlic to Dutch oven and sauté till fragrant; do not brown. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Add meats. Simmer for about 3 hours with the lid partially covering the pan. Stir every half hour or so to prevent the bottom from burning.
- Serve over spaghetti.
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