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Jul 28, 2011 10:37 PM

Help with recipe for pasta sauce

Hello, I'm planning on making some pasta sauce ("Sunday gravy") this weekend and I have a question. The recipe says to brown meatballs and sausage and then set aside. They are not added to the sauce until 2 - 2.5 hours later. So, should I put them back in the fridge (since, presumably, they will be raw in the center) or is it ok to leave them out (in approximately 75 degree weather) until they are called for? Please help.

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  1. put them in the fridge -- in a single layer, if you can, so they cool quickly

    1. Are you adding the meat just before serving or is the meat supposed to add flavor to your 'gravy'? If it is the latter, add the 'le polpette e salsiccia' sooner than 2 - 2.5 hours later. Otherwise follow the instructions of sunshine842. My wife allows the meat to add flavor to the 'gravy.'

      Buona fortuna e buon appetito!

      5 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        OK, I must revise my statements since conferring with my wife who was still asleep when I wrote the original reply. She had stipulations. If the tomato sauce is being simmered much earlier than the meal is being served, and the browned meat is to be added an hour or so before the pasta is to be served, then refrigerate the browned meat. If the pasta is to served within 2 hours of the finished gravy, then add the browned meat so that has time to flavor the gravy.

        BTW, i miei antenati non erano italiani, ergo I hate the term gravy for the tomato condiment that is to added to the pasta. To me it is 'sauce' or salsa di pomodoro. In fact, the canned tomato products call it salsa di pomodoro, tomato sauce. Gravy is either brown or yellow. Brown if its essence is beef or red meat, yellow if its essence is fowl.

        1. re: ChiliDude

          Indeed! Salsa di pomodoro cotta!

          1. re: ChiliDude

            My southside Boston friends insist it's gravy, even if it's red.

            1. re: ChiliDude

              BTW, i miei antenati non erano italiani, ergo I hate the term gravy for the tomato condiment that is to added to the pasta. To me it is 'sauce' or salsa di pomodoro.


              I'll agree.
              BUT----- you can hate it as much as you like, the terminology/coloquealism is here to stay.

              Much like my mid-western parents always referred to green peppers as mangoes.
              Picking up 2 mangoes for dinner from the grocery left me confused as an adult as to do I buy the sweet yellow fruit or the savory green pepper variety, LOL.

              If my Sunday gravy is cooked for less than 3 hours, I add all the meat early for flavor. Longer than that can cause dryness, but if the cuts of meat are thick enough or the cooking is done at a simmer, things will still come out just fine and tender,

              1. re: jjjrfoodie

                I know that I am fighting a losing battle after 51+ years of marriage as far as colloquial Italian speech is concerned. In my area, the locals of Italian heritage add an 's' to the following Italian words...spaghetti, panini, and cannoli, all of which are already plural without adding a 's'. I must forgive them their mistake about 'panini' due to the incorrect use by commercial institutions like supermarkets with a made to order deli section.

                On Easter Sunday we often have dinner with our daughter's mother-in-law in a neighborhood in which most of the people are of Italian heritage. If I wish anyone on the street 'Buona Pasqua', I'm looked as if I'm from another planet.

          2. When I make my Sunday sauce, I add the meat to the tomatoes as soon as the meat is browned, I also pour off the fat from the skillet, add some of the tomatoes, and deglaze the pan, adding the deglazing tomatoes back into the pot. I don't know what recipe yore using, but I've never heard of setting the meat aside while the tomatoes cook.

            5 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              Ditto--I brown enough that they'll hold their shape but finish the cooking in the sauce.

                1. re: chowser

                  Do you or anyone here lightly flour the meatballs before browning? I started doing that several years ago and everyone loves it. However, big caveat here, we're not at all Italian!! I was surrounded by Wonderful Italian neighbors in NU and learned lots of great recipes from them. I do not think this came from them.
                  Thanks, Nan

                2. re: roxlet

                  I do the same, makes the sauce richer and the meatballs tender and delicious. Can't think of one good reason not to add the meats right away.