Melissa Jo’s Sunday Sauce

This is how I make my Sunday Sauce for the family! I learned how to make this from my grandmother and mother when I was young, and after years of practice I made it my own! Now, I must say that making a sauce is extremely personal and you have to tweak this recipe to your personal taste! A little more of this…a little less of that…and then you can name it: “insert name”‘s Sunday Sauce! But, here’s my recipe to get you going! Melissa Jo’s Sunday Sauce….

Melissa Jo's Sunday Sauce



Reply to @missywimpelberg here’s my sauce recipe ❤️ #homemadesauce #sauce #gravy

♬ original sound – Mealtime with Melissa


Reply to @rlw325 here’s our family recipe ❤️ #meatballs #meatballrecipe #italianamerican

♬ BEST Italian meatballs – Mealtime with Melissa

Melissa Jo's Sunday Sauce

Melissa Jo’s Sunday Sauce

Melissa Jo


  • 3-4 of pork shoulder country style ribs
  • 3-4 Italian Sausage links I use hot Italian sausage
  • 4-5 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 28 oz. can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • Two 28 oz. cans of San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 7-8 cloves of chopped garlic
  • a pinch of sugar about 1 tsp.
  • 1 can of tomato paste 6 oz.
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh basil about 4 oz.
  • 6 oz. of red wine
  • crushed red pepper to taste about 1 tsp.
  • Italian herbs to taste about 2 tbsp.
  • garlic powder to taste about 2 tbsp.
  • salt & pepper to taste about 2 tbsp.
  • small hunk of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water as needed about 12 oz.
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese as much as you want to serve with


  • Season the country style pork ribs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (pork style ribs and sausage must be at room temperature before browning)
  • Add olive oil to a large pan with high sides and heat up at medium heat
  • Add the sausage and pork style ribs and brown on all sides at medium heat
  • Remove the sausage and ribs once they are browned and set aside on a plate (they won’t be cooked all the way through yet)
  • Brown your meatballs in the same pot. Then, remove the meatballs and set aside.
  • At a medium heat sauté crushed red pepper, black pepper, and salt, and fresh chopped garlic (this will only take a minute or so…don’t burn the garlic!)
  • Deglaze pan with the red wine and allow the alcohol to cook out of it (about a couple minutes)
  • Add the peeled hand crushed tomatoes to the pot along with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring the pot to a boil. Cover halfway and lower to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, add both cans of crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste. Fill the small can of tomato paste with water twice and add to the pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Once the pot comes to a boil, lower and add a hunk of Pecorino Romano cheese and two bay leaves. Add the sausage, pork, and meatballs back into the pot. Bring back to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover the pot halfway with the lid. Simmer slow and low at least 2 hours up to 5 hours. (add water as needed throughout cooking process)
  • After about 30-40 minutes minutes of simmering TASTE THE SAUCE …then add more seasonings as needed
  • When the sauce is nearly complete add the fresh basil and cook 5 minutes more
  • Serve over your pasta of choice and drizzle a little olive oil over the dish then smother with grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • Enjoy the BEST dinner EVER! Mangia! Mangia!


  • Taste your food: You have to taste the sauce and check for seasoning. Add more salt & pepper, oregano, etc.  to your liking! This is an important step! YOU MUST LAYER the seasonings! AND make this sauce your own!

  • Serve with: Serve with crusty Italian bread, thin spaghetti or linguini,  &  a simple garden salad with Italian dressing

  • Sugar: add a pinch of sugar to the sauce. This is an important step! It cuts the acidity and it’s the old school way. Old school is the best school. My mom & grandma taught me this!

  • Family Secret: Pecorino Romano Cheese: add a small hunk of Pecorino Romano cheese into the sauce while it’s simmering. It’ll disintegrate and add tremendous flavor. If there is a little hunk left you can remove or serve to the lucky guest!

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the finished dish before adding the pecorino Romano grated cheese….SO decadent and amazing! The perfect finisher!

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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