Sunday Gravy

Recipe adapted from The Sopranos Cookbook
Serves 4 to 5

For the Sauce:
♦ 1 lb pork neck bones
♦ 4 garlic cloves, minced
♦ 1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
♦ 3 lbs tomatoes (beefsteak or on-the-vine), roughly chopped
♦ 1 lb Italian sausage, cut into rounds
♦ salt and pepper, to taste

For the Meatballs:
♦ 1 lb ground beef (or combination of beef or pork)
♦ 1 piece of bread, toasted and turned into
♦ 1 large egg
♦ 2 cloves of garlic, minced
♦ 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
♦ 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
♦ 1 tsp salt
♦ freshly cracked black pepper

♦ 1 packet of whole wheat spaghetti

To make the sauce: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pork bones, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the pork bones and set aside. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until the just start to simmer (don’t brown). Add the tomatoes, fresh and canned, along with the pork pones and a dash of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 2.5 hours.

Meanwhile, make the meatballs: Pulse the toasted bread in a food processor into crumbs (or “mince” the toast, if you don’t have a processor). Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly. Rinse your hands with cool water and lightly shape the mixture into 2 inch balls. Organize onto a baking tray, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Cook the sausage: Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, and add the sausage rounds. Cook until a deep brown on all sides. Move the sausage to a plate that is covered with paper towels.

After the sauce has cooked for its two and a half hours, add the meatballs and sausage; cook for 40 to 45 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the meats are very tender. (After 20 minutes of cooking, gently flip the meatballs over).

Meanwhile, cook the pasta: bring a large pot of water to boil, with a dash of salt and a splash of olive oil. Add the packet of spaghetti, and cook until al dente.

To serve, carefully stir in the cooked pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, and serve warm.

Read more about this dish and my musical pairing by clicking HERE.