Mama Deluise's Sunday Gravy/Sauce
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This sauce recipe, like our Marinara Sauce, started with a recipe from Dom DeLuise's mother. Her's was very good, but like always, we modified slightly it to be more to our taste. The basic ingredients are mostly the same, but I updated the cooking method a little, and we use mostly our favorite meats in the sauce (ahh.., I mean gravy).

For this sauce I use half San Marzano tomatoes and half regular US domestic tomatoes to save money. I have made it with all San Marzanos, but I don't think that is necessary. The two cans alone really give it that extra punch of sweet ripe tomatoes.

4 tbls olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage
24 - 30 meatballs, pre-cooked
4 bone-in country style pork ribs, or 3 spareribs
5 large garlic cloves
2 small onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 (28oz) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes
3 (28oz) cans whole tomatoes

2 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 quart water
1 tbls sugar
8 - 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Prep the tomatoes, ribs, and sausages. In a large bowl, break up all the whole canned tomatoes very well by hand. Trim any fat off the pork ribs. Cut each sausage link into 2 or 3 pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a large stock put, and brown sausages on all sides and set aside. Brown the pork ribs and set aside. Have browned meatballs ready, and at room temperature.

Drain all but 2 - 3 tablespoons of grease from the pot, and add the onions to the pot. Saute until soft, being sure to scrap up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. When the onions are almost done, add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions are browned.

Add the tomato paste to the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste darkens slightly. Now pour in all the tomatoes and water. Bring this mixture to a low boil. Add the sugar, basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine well. Reduce the heat and simmer this sauce for 30 to 40 minutes. At this point I process the sauce with an immersion blender to smooth it out (do not over blend).

Add all the meats back to the pot along with any juices that have collected. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook the gravy/sauce for 2 1/ 2 to 3 hours. Be sure to cook it low and slow, as they say, to keep all the meat tender. Remove the pork ribs when the meat starts to separate from the bones. Keep amy meat removed warm in a oven. Your can leave the meatballs and sausage in the whole timne to help flavor the sauce.

At serving time, remove the rest of the meat and cut into serving sized peices. Serve the gravy/sauce over your favorite cooked pasta, with additional gravy for the meat and pasta on the side.


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