Sunday Sauce / Salsa Domenica

Serves 10 to 12


  • Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 pound round steak
  • Meatballs – Recipe follows
  • 8 to 10 cups passata
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar
  • Small bunch parsley and basil tied with string
  • Meatballs already formed but not baked
  • 1 pound rigatoni or ziti
  • Braciolone
  • 1 pound top round steak, thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 9 slices Prosciutto di Parma, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Kitchen string
  • Meatballs
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 4 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs soaked in 1/3 cup milk


  1. Braciolone
  2. Chop the garlic cloves and parsley together until they are finely minced.
  3. Lay the slices of round stead out flat on waxed paper or plastic wrap; if they are not uniformly thin, pound them to even out the thickness. Salt the slices. Then sprinkle the garlic and mixture over the top. Layer on the prosciutto. Finally add the grated cheese. Carefully roll up the steaks jelly-roll style and tie them with a couple pieces of string to hold the fillings firmly in place as they cook. Set aside.
  4. Sauce
  5. In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil; add the onions and wilt them down; then stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions well and continue cooking until they are almost a deep brown color. Stir in the garlic and cook until it softens. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add additional oil if the saucepan seems dry. Add the sausages and brown them; transfer the sausages to a dish. Add the braciolone and brown well, adding a bit more olive oil if the pan seems dry.
  6. Return the sausage to the pan along with the onion mixture.
  7. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, salt, pepper and sugar. Mix well; cover and cook over simmering flame for 30 minutes. Add the herbs. Continue cooking over low heat for 2 to 3 hours.
  8. Meanwhile bake or fry the meatballs. Add them to the sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  9. Meatballs
  10. Mix all ingredients together and form into golf ball size meatballs. Place on non-stick baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Drain off excess fat and place meatballs in bowl. 30 minutes before sauce is done, add meatballs to the sauce.
  11. When ready to serve, remove meat pieces and serve as second course; cook the pasta and serve with the sauce.
  12. Note: The amount of garlic used may be adjusted for your preference. You may use it just in the sauce or just in the meat rolls - depends on how much you like the garlic flavor.

This recipe was featured on Season 27 - Episode 2719.

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This sauce us wonderful. My husband is Italian. When we got married he told me my sauce wasn’t as good as his mom’s. She said don’t tell her that again. My mother in law always took up for me. But he is right it isn’t as good. However this may just change that.


Many many years ago dated an Italian boy. I loved helping his Nonna in the kitchen and going over for Sunday dinner…or Sunday Sauce! This is really close to Nonna’s braciole, which by the way wasn’t always ths same, she made one version from HER Nonna and another from her husband’s family, who were from differents areas in “the old country”. No pine nuts in either of them, thank goodness! Also learned to make the sausage. No better eating than Sunday Sauce!

Barbara Lauratis

I wish that any nutritional information was included with your recipes please. Thank you


Hi can I use a butterflied pork tenderloin


Hi can I use a butterflied pork tenderloin and jarred passata

Anthony J Pace

Marianne, I see you use sugar to cut the acid. The sugar changes the flavor of the sauce. I know it was done by many Italians who immigrated to the US because the tomatoes here were so acidic. The sugar does not chemically remove the acid, which is what you want. The best way to neutralize that acid is to use baking soda. I use 1/2 tablespoon for 10 quarts of sauce. Make certain the pot is not full because it will foam up as you stir it into the sauce. Because the baking soda is salty I reduce the salt added to the sauce. You will get all the real tomato flavor doing it this way. Give it a try. You won’t need the Brioski after dinner.

Christine Gosbee

Hello Mary Ann, I am in Canada near the Ogdensburg NY border so I watch you on Create TV on Sunday mornings. This episode aired just this passed Sunday. I saw you out in your garden and your tomato plants were as tall or taller than you! What is the trick to get them that big?
Thank you

Margot Brand

Thank you soooo much for your show!! You teach us well, we will be putting this recipe in our repertoire 😋🤗🤗
Please keep the shows coming, do you have a new season for 2019? If so please advise.
Thanks again

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