Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper

Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper By a show of hands, who is in love with their slow cooker? Do you like to get everything going in the morning, set and forget it? Or let’s talk about an outdoor smoker. If I actually had an outdoor space I’d probably need a second fridge or freezer for everything I’d be smoking out there.  

#SundaySupper is taking things low and slow this week and I’m thrilled to be hosting.  Whether you use a slow cooker, a smoker or just simmering away on your stove top for hours at a time – slow cooking is a fantastic method.  It lets you take an inexpensive cut of meat and make it meltingly tender or cook up large batches for future meals. 

Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper

Speaking of future meals, this Italian gravy will feed you for a week or you can portion it out and freeze it for later.  I chose to cook it on my stove (mostly because my slow cooker is somewhere in storage) but either method would work.  Your house will smell amazing and frankly, you could probably fool someone into thinking your Italian Grandma came over and sat over the stove stirring away all day while this cooked. 

Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper

Loaded with 2 types of meat, sausage, meatballs and a hearty sauce you really can’t go wrong. Also despite the name of dish, go ahead and cook it any day of the week. 🙂 

Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper
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    For the meatballs:
  • 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon parmigiana cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • For the gravy:
  • 4 links (about 1 pound) sweet and spicy Italian sausage, cut into thirds
  • 1/2lb boneless pork butt or shoulder
  • 1lb boneless short ribs
  • 2 28oz cans peeled whole tomatoes
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 box rigatoni pasta
  • fresh ricotta, fresh basil and parmigiana cheese to serve on the side


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, parmigiana cheese and garlic. Form into golf ball sized meatballs and set aside. You should get about 5 meatballs from 1/2 pound of meat.
  2. In a large dutch oven over medium heat, drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil and brown the sausages on all sides. Remove from the pot.
  3. Add the meatballs to the pot and brown on all sides. Remove.
  4. Pat the pork butt and short ribs dry with a paper towel and generously season both sides with kosher salt and pepper.
  5. In batches, brown the pork and short ribs on both sides. Remove.
  6. Drain excess grease from the dutch oven.
  7. While the meat is browning, in a large bowl, crush the whole tomatoes either with your hands (recommended) or with a potato masher. Reserve all juice.
  8. Add the short ribs, pork, sausages and meatballs back into the dutch oven (I suggest placing the short ribs & pork on the bottom and meatballs on top) and add the tomatoes to the pot.
  9. Stir in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  10. Cover the dutch oven, lower the temperature and simmer on low for 4-5 hours or until the meat easily shreds. Stir occasionally while the gravy simmers.
  11. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  12. To serve, cook the rigatoni according the package directions and spoon a healthy serving of gravy over the top of cooked rigatoni.
  13. Include fresh ricotta, chopped basil and parmigiana cheese on the side to top.
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: Main Dish

Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper We have such a fantastic lineup of low and slow recipes this week. Make sure you check them all out below!

Low & Slow Breads & Starters:

Low & Slow Mains:

Low & Slow Sides:

Low & Slow Desserts:

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Low & Slow Food from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Don’t forget to join the #SundaySupper chat on Twitter Sunday to discuss cooking low and slow! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Check out the Food & Wine Conference sponsored by Sunday Supper! Being held July 19th – 21st in beautiful, sunny Orlando, FL. It’s a must for food bloggers. Find out more here ? Food & Wine Conference



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52 thoughts on “Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper

  1. Pingback: Italian Sunday Gravy #SundaySupper - The Girl i...

  2. Renee

    Beef + pork + short ribs + sausage all simmering away together = a freaking awesome recipe as far as I’m concerned. Loving everything in this Susan.

  3. Hezzi-D

    When you said gravy this is not at all what I pictured….this is so much better! Those meatballs in a flavorful meaty gravy over pasta sounds just about perfect!

    1. Susan

      Yes! True Italian’s (not that I am one, but I work with plenty!) call red sauce, gravy. It would be wrong if I’d call this sauce!

      1. Memoria

        Italian-Americans, especially in the north of the States, call red sauce “gravy”, not Italians. Anyway, it looks amazing!! I love the variety of meats in this sauce. I’m bookmarking this one!

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  7. Heather @girlichef

    Mmmmmm…this is stick-to-your-ribs good! Seriously, I could hunker down with a big ol’ serving of this right now, it sounds amazing. Thank you for hosting this week, Susan. 🙂

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  16. Bea

    Susan – I cannot wait for your Italian Gravy to make an appearance at our little green house 🙂 What do you think about making it in the oven instead of on the stove? What temperature do you think? I was thinking about making it in my cast iron pot…Thank you also so much for hosting today!

  17. Diana @GourmetDrizzles

    My hand is raised high for loving my slow cooker too!!! Susan, this recipe is to die for… I can’t wait to try this!!! And thanks for hosting this week- what a fun theme 😉

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  19. Camille

    A few years ago I tore out a recipe for Italian Sunday Gravy from a magazine. It intrigued me because I couldn’t quite figure out what it was! Now I know and I am definitely going to make this some Sunday for our family dinner!

  20. The Wimpy Vegetarian

    Italian gravy is the BEST. I confess I just started using my slow cooker. We got it as a wedding gift 7 years ago, so that’s a bit embarrassing. But now I’m hooked. Thanks for this great recipe, and thanks for hosting this week of fantastic recipes. I’m having such fun going through them all now.

  21. Stacy

    Just reading your ingredient list, I can tell that this would be a fabulously rich sauce! I love this theme! So many great ideas. Thank you for hosting! I only wish I could have taken part (I just got home from two weeks of traveling.) as I do LOVE my crock pot.

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  23. Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    My goal in life is to be an Italian grandmother, even though I’m not Italian, and I don’t have grandkids (or even kids yet). But still, I want to be one, cooking up stuff like this.

    Thanks for hosting SS this week – sorry Blogger made me a deadbeat and didn’t actually post my post when I told it to 🙁 Blarg.

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