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Black Marble

Sunday Gravy with Meatballs and Sausage

Updated: May 30

"This is the dish that so many Italian-American families eat every Sunday.  And many of us have our own version – I hope you enjoy mine!"

Sunday Gravy with Meatballs and Sausage

This recipe is the most dearest recipe to my heart. It has been a part of my family for generations and passed down with only sight and taste. It it moraculiously has stayed the same. It comes from the chef within! Italian meatballs and sausage in tomato sauce – the meal I enjoyed most as a child and all through my adulthood.  Every Sunday my mother would wake at the crack of dawn to start her sauce, other Italian friends called it gravy, (it just depended on what side of the East Coast you were raised) loaded with meatballs and other assorted meat.  I cannot think of a better smell to wake up to!  The way she made it is the way my grandmother made it, the way I make it, and the way my kids make it and the way I hope they will teach their kids to make it when I’m long gone.  And, hopefully, my family legacy will grace some of your dinner tables as well. It makes me happy to be able to finally share this recipe that was never writtin down until now.

Servings – 12 Prep Time – 30 -40 Minutes Cook Time – 6 Hours


Meatballs & Sausage

  • 5-lbs ground beef, you can also substitute the ground beef with a combination of beef, pork and veal

  • 1 1/2 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 3 teaspoons dried parsley

  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 eggs, beaten

  • 1 package of Italian sausage, 8-10 links


  • 2 28-oz. can San Marzano style chopped tomatoes in puree

  • 2 28 oz. can San Marzano style crushed tomatoes

  • 1 28oz can San Marzano tomato sauce

  • 2 small cans Italian tomato paste

  • 2 cups white wine, any brand and pour a glass for yourself!

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons oregano

  • 1 Tablespoon basil

  • 3 Tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

  • 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add sausage links to pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until juice is clear. Remove from oven and set aside. Be careful when removing from the oven, the casing will enlarge and can pop due to the heat and splatter grease. Trust me this is was something I learned as a new cook a long time ago, and when I was a kid making this meal, it was something Mom always warned me on everytime.


In an extra large saucepan add all cans of crushed tomatoes, paste, and sauce.

Add Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, oregano, parsley salt, sugar, pepper and parmesan cheese. Stir until combined.

Place pot over medium heat while you prepare the meatballs.


In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients and mix well, using your hands are the best tools for this! Using a small 1 1/2-inch scoop, form balls by rolling in between the palms of your hands. Place on plate, and stack in a pyramid shape as you finish forming the rest of the meatballs.

Preparing the sauce/gravy pot:

Add meatballs to the sauce spreading them around the pan. Add in the cooked sausage links in between meatballs. Press everything down so the sauce is covering everything. Top with lid.

Reduce heat to low-med and let cook for one hour. Stir pot, make sure sauce is always be turned from the bottom so it doesn't burn.

Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for the next 5 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to move around meatballs and sauce to prevent burning.

Serve over your spaghetti, sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese with a side of fresh crusty Italian bread or Easy Cheesy Bread Sticks!

For desert, try my favorite pride and joy Italian Anginetti Cookies or Italian Rum Cake for the perfect ending this meal!


Sauce and Meatballs Only

Calories: 824kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 46.3g | Fat: 27.5g | Saturated Fat: 6.2g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 1255mg | Potassium: 850mg | Fiber: 14.6g | Sugar: 29.3g | Calcium: 220mg | Iron: 14.6mg

"This recipe brings me joy to be able to share it to the world in 2024, being the first time ever written down since 1965. I hope this brings your you and your family to the table like it did mine."

CWT is not a certified dietician or nutritionist. Any nutritional information shared on this site is an estimate counted through measurements and package nutritional information used in each recipe. If calorie, macro counting and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend running the ingredients through your choice of nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on national brands used per recipe.

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