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Cooking with 'Friends': Todd Piro's Sunday Gravy

TODD PIRO’S GRANDMA BETT’S SUNDAY GRAVY
Ingredients:
For the meat:

1 lb. Italian sausage, hot or sweet
1 lb. ground meat mix of pork, beef & veal
½ c. Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
¼ c. grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

For the sauce:
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
¼ c. olive oil
2 small cans tomato paste
1 large can San Marzano plum tomatoes
Water
2 tbsp. oregano
½ c. grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. sugar
Pepper to taste

Instructions:
Fry sausage in frying pan and set aside.
In a bowl, combine ground meat mix, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, parmesan, and salt and  pepper. Work into small meatballs. Fry in pan and set aside.
In large pot, sauté garlic, onion, and bay leaves in olive oil until they turn translucent. Add tomato paste. Mix and cook for about three minutes until all ingredients are well combined.
Put large can of plum tomatoes into blender and blend for about 10 seconds. Add blended tomatoes to tomato mixture in pot and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed
Add two small cans of water – use the small paste cans.
Add oregano, cheese, sugar, and pepper. Stir thoroughly.
Add the cooked sausage and meatballs to pot. Cook for about 1- 1½ hours on low heat. The mixing of the meat with the sauce creates the “gravy.” Serve over rigatoni that has cooked in boiling water for about 7 to 8 minutes. Add a dollop of ricotta cheese.