Sauce, Ragu, Gravy, and Salsa. This sauce has many names and what you call it would depend on where you live. But whatever you call it, you should call it delicious. Ragu traditionally is a tomato sauce cooked with meat in it, which is what we are making today.
So we will call it a Ragu, or better yet, let’s call it “Sunday Sauce” because that’s usually when I make it. It’s the perfect recipe to feed a TON of people. I really mean a TON. You will need a VERY large stock pot for this sauce. If you don’t need that much, then half the recipe and you’ll still have leftovers for another dinner.
This recipe is an OLD recipe from my friends Italian Grandma. You will never use sauce from a can or bottle ever again. So less talking, and more cooking!
Ma’s Italian Sunday Sauce- Serves 10-12 or more!
Cooking Time: 4 hours
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 2 lb penne rigate or any pasta you'd like to use
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 fresh batch of basil
- 1 batch fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 6 hot Italian sausage links
- 4 slices white bread
- 1 c milk
- 1 c parmigiana-reggiano
- extra virgin olive oil
- 3- 29 oz cans tomato puree
- 2 cans tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp oregano leaves
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Dice the onion and 5 cloves of garlic. Chop your basil and set aside.
- Put your ground beef and pork in a big bowl. Add salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp of oregano, 1/2 cup of cheese, and egg.
- Put your slices of bread in a cereal bowl and cover with milk.
- In a large frying pan saute 1/2 of your onions, 1/2 your garlic and 1/2 your basil in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Simmer on low making sure to not burn your garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, approximately 15 mins. When done add to your bowl of meat. Set aside the pan because we will be using it to cook our meat in a minute.
- Squeeze out half your milk from the bread and add to meat. With your hands mix your meat and bread mixture together for about 5 mins. Make sure it's mixed well. Set aside.
- Now for the sauce. In a BIG stock pot, add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute the rest of your onion, garlic, and basil on medium-low so you don't burn the garlic. When onions are translucent add 3 cans tomato puree and 1 1/2 cans water. Add your chopped oregano leaf and sugar. Stir and simmer sauce on medium- low heat.
- In your frying pan (where you cooked the onion and garlic) add about 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Roll your meatballs out by hand med to large size. Brown meatballs on both sides. You do not have to cook them all the way through because they will finish cooking as they simmer in the sauce, flavoring the sauce as they cook. Once the meatballs are browned on the outside, add them to the sauce in the stock pot.
- Brown the sausage links in same pan. Cut browned sausage links into 1" pieces and add to sauce.
- Cover the stock pot and let your sauce simmer on low heat for 3 hours. You can skim the fat that collects on the top of the sauce, but I just stir it back in to make a more flavorful sauce.
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, cook your pasta according to package directions for al dente.
- Serve by adding a serving of pasta to each plate then top with sauce, meatballs and sausage. Sprinkle with cheese and chopped parsley. This pairs nicely with a Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread.