A Return to Sunday Gravy

I spent a lot of Saturdays and Sundays making gravy with an assortment of meats during 2020. As I indicated in an earlier post, it was a form of therapy for me as I joined everyone else in finding ways to keep my sanity without having much of a life away from home due to the pandemic.

It turns out there really can be too much of a good thing because I eventually got tired of making and eating Sunday Gravy and have done very little of it during the past year. But I’ve got a lot of canned imported San Marzano tomatoes on hand after receiving some for the holidays, and the urge hit me this week. 

The first decision to make when it comes to Sunday Gravy is what kind of meat to use. Hot Italian sausage was almost automatic for me, and I decided they should be joined in the pot by meatballs. But rather than go with beef or a beef-pork-veal blend, I picked up a package of ground lamb. I buy it often, as it works well for both meatloaf and meatballs and is a nice change of pace from the usual. 

Look for the D.O.P. on your canned San Marzano tomatoes. It is a sign of authenticity and quality.

Making gravy is an all-day affair. I started late this morning by sautéing chopped onions, carrots and celery in extra virgin olive oil and adding garlic after the trinity had softened a bit. Then I poured in some white wine and allowed it to boil and reduce for a few minutes.

The wine reduces.

It was then time to add a couple cans of tomatoes along with an herb pouch full of parsley and a bay leaf, sugar, salt, pepper and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Two cans of tomatoes added to the sautéed vegetables.
Then more ingredients
Everything except the meat is in there.

At this point, all of the ingredients were in the gravy except for the sausage and meatballs. Those needed to be seared and partially cooked before they could be added to the pot to avoid excess fat and also add a nice texture.

Hot Italian sausage
Lamb meatballs
Time to simmer

The hard work was now done. It was just a matter of allowing the gravy to simmer over low heat for another five or so hours and stirring occasionally. 

Here is a look at where it was about an hour before I took it off the stove.

After a few hours

And here it was just before I did that in preparation to add it to my pasta. I took the lid off the pot for the last hour to reduce the sauce and concentrate the flavor  a little more. 

Reduced and finished

As far as pasta goes, I also received a couple packages of Italian bucatini from my in-laws for the holiday and boiled some until it was nicely al dente. 

Yeah, Baby! Perfecto.

It all came together beautifully for an excellent dinner that I’ll be repeating a number of times over the next week or two. Sunday Gravy isn’t something that’s made in small batches. 

Published by BZ Maestro

I live outside of Philadelphia and have been food-obsessed for as long as I can remember. After toying with the idea of starting a blog for a fairly long time, the extinction of a food-themed message board that I frequented for years prompted me to finally take action. Thank you for taking the time to check out what I've been up to - and eating. If you've enjoyed what you have read and seen, please consider clicking the "like" button and signing up as a follower.

8 thoughts on “A Return to Sunday Gravy

  1. I need to make that one of these days. I love that the bucatini says bronze dies on the bag. Bought from a local person? going to copy your ingredients.


    1. The pasta was a gift from my in-laws. They may have picked it up at their regular supermarket. I think that’s where they got the tomatoes.

      You can go with other kinds of meats if these aren’t your favorites. I’ve used short ribs too.


  2. My mouth’s watering, Bear. The pictures really make the presentation, especially that you include captions.
    I always suspected that a great foodie like you could write a great blog. Now … how can we get this operation monetized!
    (I also enjoyed your “10 Top Presidents” piece — and absolutely agree with the vast majority of picks!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That really looks good. It’s similar to my … pasta sauce (we never called it “gravy”). I don’t add wine, and I slice the sausage and start by browning it in the pan, then deglaze with vegetables. And I don’t use meatballs, which always excite and then disappoint me. The recipe is on my blog, search “pasta.” Yours seem more authentic, like the version I had when visiting an Italian family in New Jersey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I cut each sausage link into usually three smaller pieces after they’ve been in the sauce an our or two. I’ve also made the meat first and used the meat fat in the sauce. I usually do it the way pictured above though.


  4. You’re a chardonnay person?!? I’m going to have to completely rethink our friendship… ;^)

    The sauce (gravy means something different here, too) looks like it turned out really well. After 5 hours of simmering have the vegetables pretty much lost all structure?

    I’m impressed that you had the willpower to avoid setting aside one of the sausage links as a reward for your efforts.


    1. Actually, I don’t drink wine at all. I buy those small bottles just for cooking. I think I also have Cabernet for the red.

      There are still some noticeable little pieces of carrot in there.


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