“Marie’s Gravy”.. one of my fondest memories. A recipe from the vault.
Marie’s Gravy is an old family recipe. It brings back fond memories of the wonderful smells in my mother’s kitchen.
Here I am in Atlanta, Georgia visiting my newest granddaughter. She is six months old and had the misfortune of being born at the start of a pandemic.
I have not been able to visit due to being quarantined. And living 650 miles away made it impossible to drive by.
She is starting on solid foods, but so far, has not been fond of many. The one thing she seems to love is bread!
Bread was important growing up in my family. Thick, crusty, and chewy Italian bread. I remember my mom giving my daughters the “heel” of the loaf to chew on when they were babies.
I got to thinking about my mom, Marie, and how she would have been thrilled to welcome a great-granddaughter.
So, I decided to make a batch of Marie’s Gravy for the family.
Mom used a piece of lamb, pork, and beef, and 4-6 Italian sausage to flavor the gravy. She made homemade meatballs, that she added later.
I am making a modified version, using only Italian sausage and homemade meatballs.
I found Ronzoni angel hair pasta and Cento peeled tomatoes and paste in the local Kroger supermarket
First, I put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan and sautéed the minced garlic until soft but not brown.
Then I added the sausage links and seared them until almost blackened.
Next, I pureed the canned tomatoes in a food processor together with the tomato paste and added it to the saucepan with the sausage.
One tablespoon each of oregano, and parsley, and two tablespoons of sugar were added to season and cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
After the gravy came to a rolling boil, I reduced the heat and covered the saucepan. Now it simmers for several hours.
In the meantime, I started the meatballs.
I began with a bowl of lean ground beef and seasoned it with garlic, oregano, parsley, and salt and pepper. Then mixed in a beaten egg and 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese. I added a small amount of Italian bread which I soaked in ice water.
I added just enough bread to give the meat the right consistency. It is soft but cohesive.
Then I fried the meatballs in a small amount of oil on top of the stove, turning often to brown all sides.
Once cooked, I added the meatballs to the large saucepan with the sausage and tomato gravy.
After 3-4 hours of simmering, the tomato gravy is ready. The sausage and meatballs are removed and served separately. The pasta is boiled until al dente, tossed with the tomato gravy, and topped with a generous sprinkling of Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Deliziosa!
Marie’s Gravy and Meatballs
For the Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 small Lamb shank
- 1 small Pork butt
- 1 small Piece of beef (any)
- 6 med Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage
- 4 28 oz cans Whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 12 oz cans Tomato paste
- 1 tsp each Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- 1 tbsp Parsley
- 2-3 tbsp Sugar
For the Meatballs:
- 1 lb Lean ground beef
- 1 med Egg
- 3 Cloves Minced garlic
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Parsley
- 1 tsp each Salt and Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Finely grated Romano or Parmeasan cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian bread that has been soaked in ice water for a few minutes. Tear pieces of the bread apart and mix with the meat. Discard the crust.
For the Sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the minced garlic until soft but not browned
- Add the meats and sear until brown, almost blackened.
- While the meat is cooking, puree the tomatoes in a food processor until blended. Then add to the meat in the saucepan.
- Add the tomato paste to the food processor with add a can of water, and process until blended.Then add to the meat and tomatoes in the saucepan.
- Season with the salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and sugar.
For the Meatballs:
- Mix the ground meat, egg, seasonings, cheese and Italian bread in a medium bowl.
- Form into 2" balls
- Add 1 tbsp oil to a frying pan and brown meatballs until cooked through.
- Add meatballs to the saucepan and continue to simmer the gravy for 3-4 hours.
- After 3-4 hours of simmering, the tomato gravy is ready. The sausage, meatballs and meat are removed and served separately. The pasta is boiled until al dente, tossed with the tomato gravy, and topped with a generous sprinkling of Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Deliziosa!