You’ve probably heard the debate:  is it sauce or gravy?  Some (like my family) refer to it as gravy when it’s cooked for a long time and usually with a meat base- whether it be meatballs, sausage, pork shoulder, chicken, etc….  On the other hand, sauce is a quick-cooked concoction without the meat.  I was taught at a very early age how to make this gravy.  I ended up creating my own version using the same method and basics I learned from my family incorporating my personal touches. Enjoy!

Andrea’s Sunday Gravy and Meatballs



2 lbs meatloaf mix (equal parts ground pork/veal/beef)
2 eggs
1 cup of bread crumbs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil


2 28oz cans of ground peeled tomatoes (I use the “kitchen ready” Pastene brand)
½ cup of tomato paste
½ cup diced onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup dry red wine
Extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, and some salt/pepper.   Shape meatballs (size between golf ball and tennis ball).   In a large pot, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium low and fry the meatballs in batches.  You will only need to cook the meatballs about 2-3 min per side as they will finish cooking in the gravy.   Set aside meatballs on a separate plate.  In that same pot, add the onions and a few pinches of salt and cook on medium heat until the onions start to become translucent.  Then add the red wine and cook for about 2 minutes.  Next, add the tomato paste and combine thoroughly.   Then pour the cans of tomatoes plus a half of a can of water, a little bit more salt, and some pepper.   Carefully put the meatballs back into the sauce, drop the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.  The gravy can also be simmered for a longer period of time, 3-4 hours over low heat.

Serve with your favorite pasta – top with grated parmesan cheese and hot red pepper flakes.

Freeze leftovers in small containers for quick dinners.