Sauces & Stuff
Sunday Sauce with Meatballs, Ribs & Italian Sausage
Sundays are when most of us get to relax, so a long simmering sauce is the perfect way to sneak some time in with the family.
Start with something the Italians aptly call Sunday sauce or gravy. This tomato-based sauce develops intense flavor because it simmers for hours with a variety of meats. Any cut of meat that requires long, slow cooking will work here. Originally, pork was the only meat available, but once meat became plentiful, beef, sausage, meatballs, and even braciola were added also.
Serve the sauce over spaghetti with the meats on a platter of their own, family-style. And come hungry to dinner — there’s plenty!
FOR THE SAUCE, MINCE:
FOR THE MEATBALLS, WHISK:
Test Kitchen Tip
This sauce is the perfect recipe to make ahead because it actually tastes better the longer it sits.
For the sauce, mince onion, carrots, and garlic cloves in a food processor; set aside.
Add onion mixture, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and pepper flakes to the Dutch oven, season with salt and black pepper, and cook until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
Deglaze Dutch oven with ¼ cup wine, scraping up any browned bits; cook until nearly evaporated, 2 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato purée, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Bring sauce to a boil, add ribs, and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer 3 hours.
For the meatballs, whisk together bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, milk, eggs, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Gently combine with ground chuck and pork. Divide and shape meat mixture into about ten 3-oz. meatballs; cover and chill until ready to cook.
Sear sausages in oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned on both sides, 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Sear meatballs in drippings in same skillet until browned, 5 minutes; transfer to plate with sausages.
Deglaze skillet with remaining ¼ cup wine, scraping up any browned bits and cooking until nearly evaporated. Add sausages, meatballs, and reduced wine to the Dutch oven.
Simmer sauce until rib meat is falling off the bones and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the sausages and meatballs registers 165°, about 1 hour more.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 58%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 126mg 42%
Sodium 763mg 31%
Carbs 16g 5%
Fiber 3g 12%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.