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    The Sopranos - Sunday Gravy w/ Meatballs

    Source of Recipe

    The Sopranos Cookbook

    Recipe Link:

    List of Ingredients

    For sauce:

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound meaty pork neck bones or spareribs
    1 pound veal stew meat or 2 veal shoulder chops
    1 pound Italian plain or fennel pork sausages
    4 cloves garlic, peeled
    1/4 cup tomato paste
    3 (28- to 35-ounce) cans Italian peeled tomatoes
    2 cups water
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    6 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

    For meatballs:
    1 pound ground beef, or a combination of beef and pork
    1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon very finely minced garlic
    1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for the pan


    To make sauce, heat oil in large deep pot over medium heat.

    Pat pork dry and add it to pot. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Brown veal in same way and transfer it to platter. Brown sausages on all sides and transfer to platter.

    Drain almost all fat from the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove garlic and discard. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, their juices and the water to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Before adding them to pot: For smoother sauce, use a food mill to puree tomatoes and juices. For chunkier sauce, use knife to chop tomatoes.) Return pork, veal and sausages to pot. Add basil, increase heat to medium-high and bring sauce to a simmer.

    Cover pot partially and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little water.

    While sauce is cooking, make meatballs:

    In a large bowl combine ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, cheese, parsley and salt and pepper to taste and, using your hands, mix together thoroughly. Rinse hands with cold water and lightly shape mixture into tiny balls the size of small grapes. You should have about 12 dozen mini-meatballs. (If you wish to make meatballs to serve over pasta rather than include in baked ziti, shape mixture into 2-inch balls.)

    In large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add meatballs and cook, turning as necessary, until browned on all sides but not cooked through. (Do not crowd skillet; may have to cook in batches.) It may be necessary to add additional oil to keep meatballs from sticking. Transfer meatballs to a plate; they will finish cooking later.

    After sauce has simmered 2 hours, add meatballs to sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, meatballs are cooked through and larger meats are tender, about 30 minutes.

    To use in baked ziti, use slotted spoon to remove meats from sauce. Use meatballs for the baked ziti. Reserve pork, veal and sausage for a second course or for another meal or dice and add to the Sunday gravy that remains and reserve both for another meal.
    YIELD: About 8 cups.




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