Your place for traditional Italian recipes
Neapolitan Meat and Tomato Sauce
"Red Gravy"
(Makes about 2 quarts)
Braciole in Neapolitan Tomato Sauce
If you grew up in an Italian-American family or neighborhood you have probably heard of this wonderful meat
sauce or ragu referred to as "red gravy" or "Sunday gravy."  If you have never heard of 'red gravy' this is basically
a tomato sauce in which one of more types of meat are cooked for several hours to develop a rich red-brown
sauce to be served with pasta.  Because of the amount of time required to simmer the sauce, it is usually
started early in the day, traditionally on a Sunday, and is ready to serve with pasta for the early Sunday dinner.
The meat may also be served or reserved for other dinners later in the week. The type of meat added to the
sauce varies according to family tastes. This recipe includes 4 different meats: braciole, pork ribs, sausage,
and meatballs.  You can add all four or your favorite combination.  In this recipe the meatballs and sausage
are added near the end of the cooking time but if these are the only 2 meats you are using, cook them for the
full 2  to 2-1/2 hours to develop the full flavor of the sauce.  You may also choose to cook all of the meat
separately in a skillet and simply add it to the sauce when it comes to a simmer; that alternative works as well.
Braciole -Stuffed Meat Rolls

1 pound very thinly sliced boneless beef round
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Italian flavored bread crumbs
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 hard-boiled egg, coarsely chopped (optional)

8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound country-style spare ribs
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
Generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3 (28 ounce) cans whole Italian tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
2 cups water, divided


To make the braciole:
Lay the beef slices on a work surface.  Brush each piece with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Evenly spread the bread crumbs, garlic, cheese, parsley, and optional egg over the meat.  Roll up each piece like a sausage.
Secure closed with a toothpick or tie with kitchen string.  Set aside.

To make the meatballs:
Combine all the meatball ingredients except the olive oil.  Form the mixture into 2-inch balls.  (Hands rinsed with cold water prevent excessive sticking.)
Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Add the meatballs and brown them well on all sides.  Transfer the meatballs to a plate.

To make the sauce:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Pat the pork dry and place in the pot.
Cook, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides.  Transfer the pork to a plate.

Place the braciole in the pot and brown on all sides.  Remove and set aside with the pork.

Place the sausages in the pot and brown on all sides.  Remove and set aside with the braciole and pork.  Drain off excess fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot.

If you are using whole tomatoes, put them in a bowl and crush them with your hands.  Add the garlic and red pepper; cook 30 seconds.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Stir in 1 cup of water.
Add the braciole and pork ribs (the sausage and meatballs will be added later.)
Bring the sauce to a low simmer. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for
2 hours.  If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more water.

When the sauce has cooked for 2 hours, add the sausage and meatballs.
Cook for another 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and the meat is tender.

Remove all the meat from the sauce.  Toss the sauce with your favorite pasta. 
Serve the meat alongside, as a second course with a salad or vegetable, or reserve for another day.
Home     |    Privacy Policy    |    Site Map   |  About |   Contact Us
Copyright  2001 - 2023   Sandra Laux
You Might Also Like
Chicken Stuffed Shells
Eggplant Rollatini
Cavatelli with Broccoli and Grilled Italian Sausage
No more bending your spaghetti or lasagna to get it all in the boiling water. The pan's wide oval shape takes up minimal space when the stovetop is crowded.
Constructed of a glazed stoneware - a dense, strong and durable ceramic that's specifically appropriate for functional ware
but are also perfect to transform a regular dinner into a  special family pasta night.
Elegant and contemporary, the MultiClad Pro line from Cuisinart consists of deluxe cookware for the professional home chef.
We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase.