Sunday Gravy

SUNDAY GRAVY This tomato sauce with meat is called gravy because the meat drippings become the base for the sauce. It is meant to feed the whole family abundantly. You may cook up to 3 pounds of pasta and have enough sauce and meat to make everyone happy. It refrigerates and freezes well. You may use any or all of the meats listed. Pork added to the gravy will make an oily -though delicious-gravy. When you are using a significant amount of pork, skim the excess oils off the top of the sauce. Pork also tends to produce a thin sauce, so go easy when adding additional water, or add an extra can of paste at the beginning of the preparations. This will help to maintain the body of the sauce. We like an almost all beef gravy with the only source of pork coming from the sausages and meatballs.

1 lb sweet Italian sausages
2 pounds of meatballs. (See meatballs recipe)
3 to 4 short ribs of beef.
4-5 lean pork chops
1 lb lean spareribs
1/2-cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
Pinch of dried basil,
red pepper flakes,
mint and oregano
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can peeled and crushed tomatoes(preferably San Marzano brand)
1-cup chicken broth
1-cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
1.Fry the meats in 1/4 cup of oil in a large heavy saucepan.
2.When they are browned, transfer them to a platter. If needed, add the remaining 1/4-cup of oil to the residual juices in the pan. When the oil is hot, saute the onion, garlic and seasonings until transparent.
3.Stir in the tomato paste and blend well. Add the tomatoes and stir until blended with the tomato paste and oil. Stir in an extra pinch of the seasonings. Add the chicken broth and enough water to make the thickness you desire.
4.Let the sauce come to a full boil and add salt and pepper to taste and an additional pinch of herbs. Return the meat to the pan. Then simmer over medium heat, uncovered for at least one hour or until all the meat is fully cooked. Stir gently every 15 minutes or so, using a large wooden spoon.
5.Transfer the meats to a platter. Serve the sauce over pasta, reserving some for individual servings at the table.