Sunday Sauce (Another Meat Sauce Recipe)


My mom adores Rachael Ray. Mom has adopted many of Ray’s catchphrases, like “Delish,” and “Yum-O.” This is unfortunate for me, as these words are the reason that Rachael Ray drives me crazy. Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t think you should be able to make up words for the sake of being cutesy. My mother thinks that my aversion to these phrases is amusing, so she has taught “Yum-O!” to both of my children, and she often gives me Rachael Ray cookbooks. One year, I got a Rachael Ray cookbook and a NASCAR phone for my birthday. My mom is pretty good at gag gifts.

Here’s the thing, though: even though I officially cannot stand Rachael Ray, I have really liked all of her recipes that I’ve tried. I have to put masking tape over the adorable titles (“Why-the-Chicken-Crossed-the-Road Santa Fe-Tastic Soup.” Really??) while I follow the recipes, but they always turn out deliciously. One might even describe them as Dee-LISH.

That’s the long story of how this recipe ended up in my possession. I was thumbing through a copy of “Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book,” and her Grandma Rose’s Sunday Sauce caught my eye as an interesting departure from my usual meat sauce recipe. I made some changes based on our tastes, my time frame, and the ingredients we had available. The sauce was wonderful. Everyone (including one of Little Hippie’s friends who joined us for dinner that night) loved it. This batch made enough to feed 5 people for dinner with enough leftovers to freeze for another meal or to provide several lunches.

Baby Hippie loved this sauce!

Baby Hippie loved this sauce!

Sunday Sauce, Adapted from Rachael Ray’s “Aunt Rose’s Sunday Sauce”


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 (28-oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound italian sausage links
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup good Chianti
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 tsp. black pepper
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Pierce sausages a few times with a fork. In a frying pan, place sausages in 1/2-inch of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until water evaporates, turning frequently.
  • Add oil to a large stock pot and cook coarsely chopped onion over medium heat until it turns translucent. Add garlic, cook for an additional minute or two. Stir in tomatoes, wine, basil, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  • Once the water has evaporated from the sausages, brown them a little in the dry pan, then add the sausages to the sauce.
  • Make meatballs. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, the finely chopped onion, a teaspoon of oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix thoroughly, then press into 1-inch meatballs. Brown the meatballs a little in the frying pan, then add them to the simmering sauce.
  • Stir in the parsley, then simmer a couple of hours. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with pasta and/or crusty bread. And the rest of the bottle of Chianti.

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