Last year I had my hands full with a new baby. My mom arrived the night that Autumn was born and stayed for a few weeks. She helped out immensely with tons of every day things that suddenly feels so overwhelming. Oh, so much laundry. Plus, she became my chauffeur as I couldn’t drive after my C-section. Oh moms.
And then my dad came for a visit. He helped out by stocking our fridge and freezer with so much good food. One of the things that he made was a big batch of meaty marinara sauce. As I was happily distracted with my sweet little bean, I didn’t pay too much attention to him making it. I did pay attention to how damn good it was. It was flavorful, rich, and nicely filling. Perfect for having the energy to stay up late with a cuddily sweetie. Or just for lounging around watching a movie or football. Whatever gets you through your day!
As the days get colder and the dark creeps in sooner, I gravitate towards meals like this. So I was recently thinking about that batch of Italian gravy that my dad made. Just when I was going to email him to ask him about it, Price picked out this Four Meat Italian Gravy. It sounded and looked familiar to what my dad made so I figured I’d give it a try to see how it compared.
Thankfully it did not disappoint. I now have a fantastic recipe for a flavorful meat packed sauce that I can whip up myself on a Sunday afternoon to best “Celebrate the Sauce.” I won’t have to wait until my dad comes up for another visit. And since he had to fly in 2 different snow storms last year, I didn’t think think he will be making another trip this winter. I’ll see that snowbird in the summer.
Since I’ve mentioned before that we have been attempting to cut the carbs and eat more paleo meals, maybe you’re wondering why I just posted a recipe that goes hand in hand with pasta? Well, I have a nifty Spiralizer that we put to good use so often that putting it away seems silly since it gets pulled out of the hutch so often. Anyway, gotta keep the counters clean. Or attempt to.
I’ve been swapping out pasta for healthier veggie ‘noodles’ by using the Spiralizer . We used butternut squash noodles when we enjoyed this gravy as I feel that they hold up well to hearty sauces, at least a bit better than when using zucchini noodles. Basically use what you want… pasta, gluten free pasta, pollenta, veggie noodles, whatever… just make it.
Plus, the Tuttorosso tomatoes that I used were sugar and salt free. Tuttorosso is a cherished 85-year-old tomato brand that has now developed salt free products. This helps everyone better maintain their sodium intake. Plus, having sugar free products makes for healthier eating all around. That means it’s Paleo and Whole 30 complaint. With some subtle changes, like using a compliant sausage and not putting bread crumbs in the meatballs, the resulting gravy would be great paleo and whole 30 recipes in your arsenal.
And brown the freaking meats! It makes such a big difference when you do that compared to just putting the meat in the pot at the same time as the rest of the ingredients.
And get that tomato paste all toasty. It helps get rid of the raw flavor and develop that nice toasty umami flavor.
The original recipe calls for everything to be cooked in a large dutch oven, which you put into the oven. Here’s the thing, I don’t have a dutch oven that is large enough. I have 2 covered casserole/pot things that could have potentially worked but neither large enough, so then I’d have 2 use both and that equals more dishes… uh no. And then I have a monsterious covered pot, but even after googling, I couldn’t figured out if it was oven safe. So I decided to just used that and cook the sauce on the stovetop. No harm, no fail. It worked out perectly. Just a heads up, you can do this recipe ON or IN the oven. Whatever works for you.
I also deviated from the original recipe in that I just used the whole can of tomato paste and can of beef broth mainly because I knew I wouldn’t use the remaining portions of the cans. Kinda a lazy approach but it worked out perfectly in the end as the paste thickened the extra beef broth and they both packed a a rich extra flavor kick.
Basically, just make this gravy. It’s stick to your ribs good and you’ll need plenty of those hearty meals this upcoming winter. I’m sure you’ll love it. Shoot even my 1 year old could not get enough of it. She ate so much and then attacked the rib bones. Proud mama moment right there!
Four Meat Italian Gravy
Makes 12 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds baby back ribs, cut into single pieces
- 1 pound Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch slices (I used hot)
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 (6 ounce) can Tuttorosso® Tomato Paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 ounce) can Tuttorosso® Peeled Plum Italian Style Tomatoes
- 1 (28 ounce) can Tuttorosso® Crushed Tomatoes with basil
- 1 (14 ounce) can of beef broth
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 pound cooked meatballs, frozen or homemade
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ribs to brown the sides, remove to plate. Repeat with the stew meat and then the sausage.
- Add the chopped onion and oregano to the pot and cook for 5 minutes; stir and scrape the drippings from the bottom of pan.
- Next add the tomato paste and stir until it darkens; be sure not to burn. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, just till fragrant,; again take care not to burn.
- Crush the peeled plum tomatoes with your hands before adding to the pot, along with the juice. Lastly add crushed tomatoes with basil, beef broth, salt and black pepper.
- Add the browned meats, with juices, back to sauce; bring to a simmer. Place cover and cook over low heat for 2 1/2 -3 hours. Meantime make your favorite meatball recipe if using homemade meatballs, or use pre-made meatballs.
- Remove the ribs from the sauce and remove the meat from the bones, shred with a fork. Skim off any excess fat from the sauce. Return the shredded meat to the sauce. Nestle the meatballs into sauce and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Serve with pasta and freshly grated cheese.
Adapted from Tuttorosso
This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso. I received product from Tuttorosso to make a recipe of my choosing. All opinions are my own.
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You can win a Tuttorosso gift pack that contains a variety of Tuttorosso products (perfect for you to create the recipe yourself!), an apron, a wooden spoon (which are best for sauces) and recipes that can help you “Celebrate the Sauce.”
*You just have to leave a comment by 12/10/14 at midnight. Write whatever you want. Simple as that!
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