I don't watch much TV these days but when I do, it's some cooking show or contest. I always catch just the last part of Cook's Country episode on Italian Sunday gravy. I got curious as to why it's called gravy and not tomato sauce. After a lot of web searching I found one recipe that has pigs feet and immediately forgot why I was searching for it. Of course, with the pigs feet how can I resist so I made a very small quantity combining the Cook's Country version and the recipe from one of Serious Eats readers. This is one delicious tomato sauce and I love the soft gelatinous skin and meat of the pigs feet. One serving with some, okay lots of meat, over a cup of whole grain penne for lunch was so filling I had to skip dinner.
Italian Sunday Gravy
1 pound pigs feet or skin
1 piece each sweet and hot Italian sausage
12 pieces medium-size homemade Italian meatballs
2 pieces boneless beef short ribs
3 small bracciole, to make: sprinkle thinly sliced beef with chopped garlic, grated Parmesan, and pine nuts, top with one or 2 pieces of prosciutto, roll tightly, and tie with kitchen strings.
olive oil for browning meat
32 ounces canned or fresh diced tomatoes and juices
12 ounces tomato paste
1 clove roasted garlic
1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped and divided
¼ cup snipped fresh basil
a few sprigs Italian parsley
sea salt, if needed
- In a medium sauce pan, place the pigs feet, add water to cover and let boil for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the feet well. Discard the boiling water. Transfer into a large stainless steel pot with 2 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium.
- Blend the diced tomatoes, paste, garlic, and half of onion in a blender until smooth and add to the pot.
- In a skillet, with a little olive oil, sautee the rest of the onion until soft and golden; add to the pot. In the same skillet heat a tablespoon of olive oil and [separately] brown the beef short ribs, sausages, bracciola, and meatballs and add to the pot. Add the chopped basil and sprigs of parsley. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 2 to 2½ hours until pigs feet are very tender, checking for seasoning halfway through and adjust to taste.
- Remove the parsley sprigs and discard. Serve the gravy with cooked ziti or penne alone or with some of the meat on top.