Recipe courtesy of Vita Greco

Vita Greco's Gravy

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 3 hr 45 min
  • Yield: about 1 quart
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For the meat:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound mixed chopped meat (veal, pork and beef)

2 - 4 pork neck bones

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 small lamb shank

For the meatballs:

1 pound mixed chopped meat (veal, pork, beef)

2 large eggs

1 handful chopped fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

1/4 cup grated Locatelli Romano

1/2 cup bread crumbs

4 garlic cloves, sliced

Olive oil, for browning

For the gravy:

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

3 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

Black pepper


A few pinches sugar

1 handful chopped fresh Italian parsley

8 basil leaves

A few pinches grated Locatelli Romano

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

2 cups water


  1. Prepare the meats: In a large skillet, brown all the meats in the olive oil. There is no need to cook the meats all the way through. Remember to pierce the sausage before cooking to allow fats and water to be released. Set meats aside.

For the meatballs:

  1. Prepare meatballs: Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Form the meatballs with your hands (there should be about 12). Fry in the olive oil over medium heat until browned, but not cooked all the way through. Set aside.

For the gravy:

  1. Prepare the gravy: Saute garlic in the olive oil in the same skillet used to saute the meats. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. In a large saucepot, combine the remaining ingredients except the meats and the tomato paste-garlic mixture and simmer. When the mixture begins to bubble, add all the meats and the meatballs and the tomato paste-garlic mixture. Stir about every 15 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent burning and sticking. If the gravy seems too thick, add a little water at a time. Simmer for about 3 hours, keeping the lid of the pot slightly askew to prevent condensation of the gravy.