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. Then there are easy recipes like this Italian Chicken Bake, for another quick an easy alternative with the same fabulous flavor profile.
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:
- Drunken Pumpkin Spice Latte by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Hot Mulled Caramel Apple Sangria by The Crumby Cupcake
- Mexican Atole by Curious Cuisiniere
- Gluten Free Hot Spiked Apple Cider by Gluten Free Crumbley
- Apple Pear Crisp by The Freshman Cook
- Bananas Foster by Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Hazelnut Lava Cake by Brunch with Joy
- Fudge Pudding Cake by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Honeycrisp Apple Tart by The Redhead Baker
- Pumpkin Cheesecake in Pumpkins by Desserts Required
- Warm Cardamom and Coconut Rice Pudding by Fearless Dining
Main Dishes and Soups
- Beef Brats and Beans Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Beef Pot Pie with Herbed Biscuits by From Gate to Plate
- Best Ever White Bean and Mushroom Soup by Pancake Warriors
- Braised Venison with Plums by Food Lust People Love
- Butternut Squash Chili by Amee’s Savory Dish
- Butternut Squash Risotto with Pears and Sage by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Carbonnade Flamande by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Classic Italian Meat Sauce by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Creamy Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Hearty Chickpea Soup by The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Creamy Stove-Top Alfredo with Bacon and Green Beans by Peaceful Cooking
- Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Noodles by Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Curry Debal by Palatable Pastime
- Easy Sweet Potato Soup by Healing Tomato
- Easy Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- French Onion Soup by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Gingered Butternut Squash Soup by Noshing With The Nolands
- Hearty Turkey Lentil Soup by A Gouda Life
- Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup by Party Food and Entertaining
- Mango Habanero Sauce by What Smells So Good?
- Oxtail Stew by Nosh My Way
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting by Serena Bakes Simply from Scratch
- Red Lentil Soup by My San Francisco Kitchen
- Roasted Squash Soup by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Turkey Enchilada Casserole with Salsa Verde by Food Done Light
- Slow Cooker English Roast by Wholistic Woman
- Slow Cooker Lamb Rogan Josh by Caroline’s Cooking
- Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy by Feeding Big
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Spice-Rubbed Braised Beef by FamFriendsFood
- Spicy Meatball Tortilla Soup by The Weekend Gourmet
- Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon by Cooking Chat
- Turkey Chipotle Chili by The Complete Savorist
Classic Italian Meat Sauce
This classic slow cooked Italian Meat Sauce is adapted from Vita Greco
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- 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
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For meat sauce:
- 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
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 1/2 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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