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Hearty Italian Meat Sauce (Sunday Gravy)

  • 8 servings
  • Mins
    Prep Time
  • Mins
    Cook Time

We prefer meatloaf mix (a combination of ground beef, pork, and veal) for the meatballs in this recipe. Ground beef may be substituted, but the meatballs won’t be as flavorful. Six tablespoons of plain yogurt thinned with 2 tablespoons of milk can be substituted for the buttermilk. This recipe makes enough to sauce 1½ pounds of pasta. Our preferred brands of crushed tomatoes are Tuttorosso and Muir Glen. The sauce can be prepared through step 4 and then cooled and refrigerated in the Dutch oven for up to 2 days. To reheat, drizzle ½ cup of water over the sauce (do not stir in) and warm on the lower-middle rack of a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour before proceeding with the recipe


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 rack baby back ribs (about 2¼ pounds), cut into 2-rib sections
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 pound hot Italian sausage links
2 medium onions , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
teaspoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (see note)
cup beef broth
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread , crusts removed and bread cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup buttermilk (see note)
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves , chopped
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound meatloaf mix (see note)
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto , chopped fine
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese , grated (about ½ cup)
½ cup olive oil
pounds spaghetti or linguine
2 tablespoons table salt
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

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