Our family has always enjoyed the Godfather movies.  This is an excerpt from the first Godfather movie, when Fat Clemenza teaches Michael Corleone how to make gravy.  He says: “You see….. you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic, then “trow” in some tomatoes, tomato paste, and you stir to make sure it doesn’t stick.  Then you bring it to a boil, and you shove in all your meatballs and “salsigge”.  Add a little bit of wine and a little bit of sugar…and that’s my trick”.  Listed below is my take on this recipe - with actual quantities!




1 lb. Ground Chuck (85% Lean)

½ lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, casing removed

4 Eggs

½ Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Grated

1½ Cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs

3 Cloves Garlic, Minced

¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, Minced


1 lb. Italian Sausage (Mixture of Sweet/Hot)

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil


2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Garlic Cloves, Sliced

3-28oz. Cans Crushed Tomatoes

3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

¼ Cup Dry Red Wine

1 Tbsp. Sugar



Meatballs: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Using an ice cream scoop, measure out the meatballs, and hand roll each ball into a round shape.  Place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 15-20 minutes, or until meatballs are firm.  Sausage: Place the Italian sausage on a baking pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Prick each sausage with a knife several times each, and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes, or until light brown and cooked through.  Sauce: In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the garlic and olive oil.  Saute for approx. 1 minute, until the garlic is light brown.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and stir to combine.  Raise the heat and bring to a simmer.  Add the cooked meatballs and sausage to the sauce. Add the dry red wine and sugar, and mix well.  Simmer for approx. 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Enjoy! 

Fat Clemenza's Sunday Gravy