Monday, July 29, 2013

Not Quite Velva’s Sunday Sauce

During the grandkids visit, Reese requested spaghetti with meat sauce and Bev wanted to add some Italian sausage and meatballs so I went to Velva’s recipe for Sunday Sauce at Tomatoes On The Vine.  I have to say this is the most unique sauce I’ve ever seen and considering the meat she used, at some point this ole BBQer will have to try it as she makes it. – please click on the link to have a look at the original.

I generally used Velva's ingredients for the sauce and changed up the meat and the cooking process a little.

Sunday Sauce – adapted from Tomatoes On The Vine

1½ lb.             Hamburger
1 large            Onion, diced
3 ea.               Shallots, diced
4 cloves         Garlic, minced
3 qts.              Canned tomatoes (we used ours)
6 oz.               Tomato paste
20 fresh         Basil leaves, divided
1 tsp.              Dried basil
½ tsp.             Dried oregano
½ tsp.             Crushed red pepper
¾ tsp.             Salt
½ tsp.             Fresh ground black pepper
2 ea.              1”x2” pieces parmesan rind (had them laying around in the fridge)

1. Add hamburger to a large pot and brown over medium heat.
2. When meat is mostly browned, add onion, shallots, and garlic and cook until they are softened, stirring often.
3. Deglaze the pan with some of the tomato liquid scrapping up all of the brown bits (a little red wine could also be used for this).
4. Stir in the tomatoes, dried basil, dried oregano, red pepper, 10 fresh basil leaves, Parmesan rind, and the S&P, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer fora couple of hours, if time permits.

5. About 30 minutes before serving, add the meatballs to warm up (we used some we had in the freezer) and grill.  

Grill the sausage , cut into desired lengths and add to the sauce. 

6. Just prior to serving, stir in the remaining basil, then serve pasta per your favorite method – we plated the pasta, topped with meat sauce, added the desired meatballs and sausage, and grated parmesan over everything.

Notes: We added the tomato paste as we didn’t have time to cook it long enough to thicken.  For pasta we used a mixture of spaghetti and linguini as that’s what we had on hand, but use your favorite.

Bev and I both decided this will be our new go-to meat sauce.  Thanks Velva for helping with a delicious meal and now I need to invite some friends over and make the original.

Photos best if enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


7/24/2013 event date


  1. I love a good tomato sauce/gravy and this sounds really really good. I went all out once and made a Sunday gravy from a recipe from a New Jersey Italian grandmother. Cooked all afternoon on low with meatballs and sausage, it was a treat. Now I'm officially hungry for spaghetti.

  2. There really is nothing better than a good Sunday gravy. I grew up with that being a staple in our house. And I'm with Lea Ann... I'm not officially hungry for a bit plate of pasta with gravy!!! YUM!!

  3. Looks delicious. Comfort food at its best.
    Larry, I keep meaning to tell you how much I love your pork roast pictures. My mouth waters every time I see them.


  4. Larry, That is one great looking meat lovers load of pasta! Sausage, hamburger and meatballs...Wow! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. Hearty and flavorful - my kind of sauce!

  6. I've been meaning to come up with a Sunday gravy recipe of my own for some time. This looks like a good start and probably doesn't even need tweeking. Thanks Larry.

  7. This sounds awfully good to me. I've bookmarked your recipe.

    Larry, several years ago I did work on planting the three sisters with a group of young children. Given the audience, we had to make sure it would work, so what we did probably takes too much time for real gardeners, but I thought I'd pass it on to any who might be interested. Begin with a fertile mound that is 2 feet in diameter and 1 foot high. Plant 6 corn seeds near the center and once they've sprouted, plant 6 squash and 6 lima bean seeds around them. The mound was in full sun and it was watered frequently and it did produce all three vegetables.

    Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. Looks like you made some wonderful additions to this recipe. My husband would adore it with ground beef and sausage. Great combination!

  9. I feel so honored that you wanted to adapt this recipe and share it. It is definitely an intense Sunday Sauce. You did a really nice job simplifying the sauce without diminishing its hearty character.

    Love it. Thank you!



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