A Classic Italian Sunday Feast

My husband grew up in an Italian American home where most Sundays a classic meal was served around 2:00 P.M. in the afternoon. If you visit a home in one of the towns that has a “Little Italy” on a Sunday, you will more than likely smell the wonderful aroma of a long simmered sauce that fills the house.

This special sauce or “gravy” as some people call it is not a typical marinara sauce. It is a sauce prepared with a variety of meats which usually includes meatballs and sausages. It can also have braciole, pork or beef ribs, and other chunks of meat. The meat juices give the sauce a rich taste that is enhanced from hours of low and slow cooking.

A Sunday Feast

My husband’s mother would start preparing this feast in the morning. Getting out her largest pots and pans, a tomato sauce would be started. Next on the agenda, braciole would be prepared. Braciole is a thin piece of meat that is stuffed, rolled, tied, browned and then simmered in the sauce. It can be stuffed with a variety of grated cheeses, prosciutto, eggs, breadcrumbs and herbs. No two cooks make it the same. She also added  meatballs and sausages to her sauce.

The family and often friends would gather around the table to enjoy the feast. First, pasta would be served with the sauce. Next would come the meat that had been simmered in the sauce. This would be accompanied with a large loaf of crusty bread to wipe up the sauce and juices on the plate.  A lettuce and tomato salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar would be served along side. Last but not least, coffee and wonderful Italian pastries would be placed on the table. Sunday was a day of laughter and good food that my husband remembers fondly.

I like to prepare a meal for my husband that reminds him of his traditional Sunday meal with his family.

A Recipe For A Sunday Feast

  • 12 cups of basic sauce* or 3 large cans of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 or more garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes and the dried herbs and seasoning. Let simmer while you prepare the meatballs.

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 c. fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 1  egg, beaten
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. grated Pecorino cheese

Mix all ingredients and form into meatballs. Sauté on all sides until brown and add to the sauce.

  • 1 large link each of hot and sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 braciole

Brown the sausages and braciole and add to the sauce.

Let the sauce simmer over low heat with a lid that is cracked for several hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove lid and simmer until desired thickness.

To finish the sauce add fresh herbs to brighten the taste.

  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

Cook your favorite pasta until al dente, drain and toss with some of the sauce. Serve the pasta with a large platter of the meats, extra sauce and grated cheese on the side. I also like to serve a bowl whipped basil ricotta to top the pasta for additional flavor.

Does you family have a tradition of eaten a special meal on Sundays or is a meal like this limited to special occasions?

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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173 Responses to A Classic Italian Sunday Feast

  1. Sue says:

    How funny-I just read a post earlier in which the lady was writing about special meals on Sunday. So many memories from when we were young revolve around food—-I rather feel sorry for the many kids growing up on McDonalds today. What kind of memories are that?
    Your meal looks scrumptious, Karen! This will definately be a hit here.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, Thank you for your nice compliment. I agree about the children growing up today. When so many of our memories revolve around food, will they look back on the free toy that came in their kids meal. Sharing a meal with family seems to be disappearing.

  2. Norma Chang says:

    What a wonderful Sunday tradition. When I was growing up Sunday meals were also very special. Multi-course meals prepared by my father and served early afternoon, sitting together (the whole fmily) and frequently joined by friends and relatives.
    When it comes to food, the Chinese and Italians have a lot in common.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Norma, I have read with delight about the traditions around the Chinese table. Your father’s meals must have been wonderful. Thank you for your comment.

  3. niasunset says:

    So delicious… Thank you dear Karen, have a nice day and new week, with my love, nia

  4. Nothing beats Italian for dinner in my book – having such a background must be fantastic :D
    This Sunday feast indeed looks like a delicious Italian affair – excuse my accent but Mamma Mia, how could you not invite me ;)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Karen says:

      Hi CCU, Thank you for your nice comment. You have an invitation to to an Italian feast whenever you are in the neighborhood.

  5. We always do some type of big meal on Sundays, too. It’s never the same, but it is always something special….and I usually try to make dessert for Sunday dinner.

    Your Sunday gravy sounds wonderful. My dad always made his sauce like this with all different types of meats in it and he was known for his sauce. Yours sounds wonderful and I love the addition of the brasciole. The whipped basil ricotta is such a great addition – might try this next time we have sauce!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becki, Thank you for your nice compliment. I love adding brasciole…it adds a richness to the sauce. It is very pretty when sliced and served. I think you will enjoy the whipped basil ricotta.

  6. Lea Ann says:

    Even though not Italian, my husband grew up in the Little Italy section of Denver. I’ve heard about these meals and once took on the project of making Sunday gravy. Man was it good.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lea Ann, The Sunday meals are wonderful when shared with a large group of family and friends. Isn’t the flavor of Sunday “gravy” delicious!

  7. Mad Dog says:

    That’s a fantastic Sunday lunch ;-)

  8. Larry says:

    I love Italian and this looks absolutely awesome. Please give me two days driving time notice next time you cook it. I’m looking forward to making your Pan Fried Pork Chops With A Warm Tapenade for supper tonight.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, Thank you for your very nice compliment. You have an invitation for this meal anytime you head our way. I do hope you will enjoy the pork chops.

  9. Carolyn Chan says:

    I love family traditions like this, and I love love love recipes like this !

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Carolyn for the nice compliment. It is nice when family traditions are carried on. This is one of my husband’s favorite meals.

  10. cabinet stew says:

    I love nothing more than a “Sunday gravy” and I think I must have been Italian in my last life since I didn’t pick up this Sunday dinner tradition until later in life! After I moved to Boston I picked up a few tips myself: http://cabinetstew.com/2010/09/26/sunday-gravy/
    Looks delicious and I will need some red sauce soon..like for lunch today!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, I know what you mean about the Italian Sunday dinner tradition. Growing up, our Sunday meal was usually a nicer meal than during the week but nothing like the meals my husband grew up with.

      • cabinet stew says:

        I am fascinated with the intertwined Irish and Italian traditions here in the Boston area! My small NH family didn’t really have a Sunday Dinner tradition, so this was all new to me!

  11. Monique says:

    I love meals like these:0 Comforting..filling tasty and colorful..

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Monique, for your nice comment. I was thinking about you as I wrote this post. You were the first person that tried my whipped basil ricotta and wrote back to me about how much you enjoyed it.

  12. terry1954 says:

    that looks very good. many years of experience brings out the best foods

    • Karen says:

      Hi Terry, I have to agree…we are lucky when traditional recipes are passed down within a family. Thank you for your comment.

  13. Love your Sunday gravy! Nothing more comforting than Sunday gravy over a big bowl of macaroni. It’s time for breakfast and here I am craving some of your delicious feast, I always loved the leftovers, too :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, This Sunday meal does provide excellent leftovers. I think this is one meal where the flavors improve. Thank you for your nice compliment. I made myself hungry when I did this post so I know what you mean…sorry to make you hungry so early in the day.

  14. I’ve been looking for a traditional Italian sauce to go with my homemade pasta, and I will try this one. Nothing is better than a family recipe, many times it was remembered by heart, by taste and by smell. I want to go to Italy some day to hone pasta making skills and learn some traditional recipes, including sauce making and meat curing. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marina, I hope that you get a chance to travel to Italy and attend some cooking classes there. You will be surprised how different the dishes are there compared to Italian American food. They use less sauce and most dishes are amazing simple and delicious. Thank you for your nice compliment and I think you will enjoy the recipe.

  15. Now this brings back memories of Sunday lunches for me too! My best friend is English (we met at school) and she used to talk to me of Sunday roasts and sometimes I´d be jealous of her. She, on the other hand, was jealous of our Italian Sunday lunches. Now, I can pick and choose and cook what we fancy…I love that we have all these mixtures of cultures in our families (of course) all these wonderful food choices!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tanya, I’m happy that I have brought back memories of your Sunday meals. I too enjoy the mixture of cultures in my cooking now days. We are lucky to have the availability of more ingredients than our parents had.

  16. ……oh that looks marvelous!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Mary says:

    Your sauce sounds wonderful but your words are what reached me today. You put me at that table and I enjoyed Sunday dinner with the family. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  18. lulu says:

    This reminds me very much of flavors from my high school days. A good friend’s mom made sauce, much like what you have presented, every week and I was often lucky enough to be included in the meal when it was served. She was Italian and her recipe had been passed through the generations. No doubt it changed a little here and there as nothing was written down. The one thing that never changed was that it had to simmer for hours in order to have that just right flavor.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulu, I think it is a wonderful experience to be a part of. It would taste different from time to time because of the different meats that were used. The one constant was that the sauce had to simmer for hours to develop the flavor.

  19. viveka says:

    Everybody seem to had meatballs for the weekend … *smile – like the look of this. I’m going to present our famous Swedish meatballs – during this week. This goes on file.

  20. Tandy says:

    I could eat the whole lot right now! Yum :)

  21. Exactly like my husband’s family. Pasta with every meal, including Thanksgiving turkey. I think it was nice having an afternoon of family & food. No rush and really the companionship was more the point of it all.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, I can relate to pasta with the Thanksgiving turkey…my husband’s family did that as well. I agree that the family being together was as important as the food itself. Thank you for your comment.

  22. What a fabulous meal! Looks like a feast indeed!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Tina for your nice compliment and visit today. It is one of those meals that you don’t want to stop eating. Definitely a feast.

  23. trangquynh says:

    Love the dish and also the spirit that you brought in this post :) have a nice day and keep writing beautiful posts like this xoxo

  24. That looks amazing! A big thumbs up to any sauce or gravy that has big, fat pieces of braciole. Yum!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Daisy for your nice compliment. I love the flavor that braciole adds to a sauce. A the meat is so tender from the long simmer.

  25. ChgoJohn says:

    I really enjoyed this dish & recipe, Karen. At our house, though, it wasn’t so much a Sunday dinner as one for special occasions, when there was “an army” to feed. Even so, the table you’ve described could just easily been one that Mom and/or Zia set back then, right down to the oil & vinegar dressing for the salad. Thanks for bringing back such great memories.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, I’m so happy that I brought back great memories. This was an almost weekly Sunday meal in my husband’s family. For special occasions they would have ravioli first, followed by a ham, turkey or seafood with lots of sides.

  26. The Sunday lunch sounds wonderful, I’m imagining all the beautiful aromas in the kitchen, ahhhh!

  27. Oh yum! I love pasta with sausage – this dish sounds particularly good.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Frugal, If you like pasta with sausage, then you will really enjoy this dish. With several types of meat simmered for a long time, they give a rich flavor to the sauce.

  28. This Sunday feast looks amazingly flavorful and delicious! All the more perfect to share with family and friends.

  29. This is my “go-to” comfort food. Thank you for this lovely recipe and the story that goes with it. Food memories are surely some of the strongest and most important that we have.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Victoria, Thank you for your nice comment. Don’t you just love this wonderful sauce. Food memories from our pasts are such a wonderful part of our life. I hope families will continue with the traditions.

  30. Conor Bofin says:

    This looks and reads wonderfully. I take it you fed a hundred with that recipe? Not just your husband, surely not…
    Best,
    Conor

    • Karen says:

      Hi Conor, I had to laugh at your comment. Yes…I made this recipe for just the two of us. Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that the flavors improve the next day. Since this meal simmers for hours, I like to make enough to freeze for future meals.

  31. Sunday meals were a beautiful tradition when I was growing up.
    I still try to keep it alive and really hope my kids remember it when they grow up..
    Beautiful Post…Really lovely read…
    Also what a fabulous dish… Perfect for building memories around!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Reem, Thank you so much for your lovely compliment. I love that other families are keeping food traditions alive. I’m sure your children will look back fondly on the family meals that you prepare. They are memories in the making.

  32. A_Boleyn says:

    This truly does sound like a feast. I hope to make braciole one day. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Boleyn, for your nice compliment. I think you will enjoy braciole…especially in a long simmered sauce to make it oh so tender.

      • A_Boleyn says:

        I grew up in a Yugoslav/Romanian household and am gradually adding more Romanian dishes to my repertoire as I get older so it’s encouraging to see others rediscovering/celebrating their own cultural heritage. And then there are the Hungarian dishes that my SIL mentions that sound so interesting that I want to make THEM as well. :) I could cook something new daily.

      • Karen says:

        It is so nice to have recipes from your heritage. I always enjoy dishes that have been passed down from generations from all over the world. That is what is so wonderful about blogs. We can connect with people and their dishes that we haven’t had in years.

  33. Reading this makes me wish I was Italian. Braciole sounds absolutely delicious.

    • Karen says:

      Hi B, Thank you for your nice comment. I am a little Irish girl that is lucky enough to be a part of my husband’s wonderful Italian family. I feel that I am now part Italian just from sharing all their experiences.

  34. Hi Karen!
    I’m sure you succeeded because it is a feast :)

  35. I love reading about traditions like that! We live in an Italian neighbourhood, so our local butcher sells brasiola (I think that’s how they spell it), but I never knew how it was cooked before! I can just imagine all the flavours merging together after such a long, slow cooking time..

    • Karen says:

      Hi Celia, Thank you for your nice comment. We have a wonderful butcher shop about 30 minutes away from where I live that is my “go to” butcher. They have the most amazing brasiola, frenched lamb chops, duck fat, etc. It isn’t like the great markets in Europe but they bend over backwards to try to help with my butchering requests. Brasiola is usually made from cuts of meat that need a low and slow cooking method. The meat adds so much to the flavor of the sauce. I think you would really enjoy it.

  36. Claudia says:

    I loved and love those feasts! And later, my aunts would fight over the neck bones and eat them in the kitchen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Claudia, The Italian feasts of the past and present are wonderful. I have been part of meals where the best little parts of the meal were shared by the women in the kitchen.

  37. musingmar says:

    This sounds so good! I used to make something like this when the kids were still at home, but it’s one of those dishes that has fallen by the wayside. Time to get it back on the table! Thank you for reminding me!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Marlene, for your nice compliment. I agree…go dig out your recipe. If you can’t find it, I think you will enjoy this one.

  38. We used to have big Sunday dinners at my grandmothers…we were not Italian, but Southern folks who loved to get together, talk and eat every week. I do not do this now at my house, but I have found memories. Your pasta with the sausages look marvelous.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Teresa for your nice compliment. It is wonderful that you were able to share Sunday meals at your grandmother’s home. I’m sure your southern dishes were delicious.

  39. France says:

    can I come to your Sunday Feast? looks great.

  40. The sauce looks really wonderful, Karen, but beyond wonderful tastes I think I most revel in the idea of a family tradition. From what I hear from others with loving Italian families, the center of the family is the kitchen, and the meals shared are to me the best part of any day. In my family there isn’t currently anything quite this regular and special, but as a child we did go to my grandparent’s home every Sunday for a mid-day dinner. It was something that I loved doing and fondly remember. I enjoyed this post for the recipe, and the memories. Debra

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Debra, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad to have brought back memories of your time spent at your grandparents table on Sundays.

  41. Sissi says:

    Karen, your sauce looks gorgeous and I wouldn’t mind having it even for breakfast ;-) (I still haven’t had one today, so I get hungry looking at such beautiful photos!).
    The Sunday meal story reminds me of the bolognese sauce I found one day in an Italian cookery book and even though it took me three or four hours to make it, I never looked at any other recipe again. It was perfect and whenever I tried to make shortcuts the taste was at least 3 x worse. Some sauces or dishes just need to be pampered.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, Thank you for your nice compliment. Bolognese sauce is another example of a wonderful long simmered sauce. And you are right, shortcuts just don’t produce the same flavors.

  42. Sophie33 says:

    A real feast for the eyes & senses! What a treat!
    I love your festive dinner a lot! ;)

  43. hotlyspiced says:

    I love the idea of families getting together every Sunday to enjoy a home cooked meal, something that’s been lovingly prepared with wonderful and fresh ingredients. Great that you are carrying on the tradition xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, I do like carrying on the tradition of making my husband’s favorite Sunday meal. I just don’t make it for him every Sunday like his mother did.

  44. My idea of a perfect meal! Superb! Love the flavors here.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Asmita, for your nice compliment. This meal is my husband’s favorite although who could resist pasta, meatballs, sausage and braciole covered in sauce.

  45. annelifaiers says:

    This recipe looks fantastic! Very authentic and I am sure a big bowl of deliciousness!

  46. This is festive, Karen. No Sunday dinners for us: Sunday is the day my Mom doesn’t cook at all and often the day I prep food for later in the week.

  47. WOW! What a feast, Karen!!! This looks fabulous…and the ricotta basil cream is perfect!!! I must try this!!!

  48. Lucky husband! This sounds like a wonderful Sunday feast, Karen, and I can imagine how it would be even better topped with a bit of that herbed and whipped ricotta.

  49. Judy says:

    We serve ricotta with our bolognese and love it, I like how you have added it to this classic meal.

  50. sageca says:

    What a fantastic blog. I love New England. I am trying to figure out how to follow you even though I am not with Word Press. Saving this recipe. Thank you for your visit.
    Rita

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rita, Thank you so my for visiting my blog and your lovely compliment. I’m happy to hear that you will be following my posts. I look forward to your visits.

  51. Cucina49 says:

    Wow, that is a perfect Sunday meal–though I don’t know if I’d be mobile afterward! Now I have to check out the recipe for whipped basil ricotta.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cucina, Thank you for your nice compliment. It is a wonderful meal that I try to restrain myself when eating. I think you will enjoy the whipped basil ricotta.

  52. zestybeandog says:

    This indeed is a FEAST! What a lovely recipe!

  53. Megan says:

    Drool – picture speaks a thousand words. Looks amazing!

  54. OOoo, My Goodness,
    this looks Fab!

    My big fat Italian family does this on Sundays, as well. My dad makes his sauce homemade w/ Italian sausage, beef ribs, and pork hocks.

    I am drooling right now. Xxx

    Love your site.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I loved your comment…I know I would enjoy sitting at your table on a Sunday.

  55. Mary says:

    My, I wish this was on my dinner table right now! LOL!!! My brother-in-law’s parents are from Italy and his mom make everything from scratch! She’s a wonderful cook! There’s something about taking simple ingredients and letting them simmer all day! Thank you for sharing your recipe! We love Italian in our house!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary, Thank you for your nice comment. I know that partaking in meals prepared by your brother-in-law’s family must be terrific. Long simmering sauces are so delicious.

  56. Kristy says:

    Oh my! Oh my! Karen this looks out of this world delicious. I would love a Sunday meal like this – right down to the love and laughter at the table. It sounds perfect. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, You got it exactly right…the love and laughter at the table is what it is all about. The food is great but it is all about the family sharing the meal that really makes the experience special.

  57. (Oh I just wrote about Italy too.) I’ve always loved the traditional bigger Sunday lunch as the Italians do. Love it, love it. You can almost smell the food through the screen.
    I’m looking forward to starting traditions like that for my own family.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Brydie, Thank you for your nice comment. I think it is wonderful that you want to have traditions for your family in the future.

  58. Zoe says:

    This looks like a great dish for a Sunday feast. Eating this pasta with whipped basil ricotta sounds brilliant to me.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Zoe, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. The whipped basil ricotta is a nice addition to the pasta.

  59. Pat says:

    Sunday was also a special day in my husband’s Italian family and his mother would always make sauce and fresh pasta. She very often used rolled up pig skin in her sauce along with meatballs. Calabrians like a dried cured sausage so that was never put into her sauce but served sliced on the side. She served her lettuce salad with a squeeze of lemon on top. and some salt. Crusty bread, oil cured olives, cheese, nuts, fruit and my father-in-law’s home made wine would always be a part of the meal We would gather and dine for hours–talking laughing, having second helpings. N o matter how many people came she always had enough for everyone. Wonderful memories, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pat, I would love to have shared in that experience. My husband loves the rolled pig skin (he refers to it as cotica). It was just stuffed with a little breadcrumbs and parsley. I’m happy to have brought back the wonderful memories of your husband’s Italian family.

  60. yes, the Sunday lunch was quite a big deal in Italy, in the past. nowadays I think has almost disappeared in the cities (but still survives in the South and in small towns). Lovely meat sauce, so rich!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, Thank you for your nice comment. I think so many of the traditions from the generations before us are not being carried on. Even families having a simple meal together is disappearing from many peoples lives.

  61. Susan says:

    That is a feast and it looks so delicious! I’ve been searching for a good Italian ‘gravy’ recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  62. I’ve always been intrigued by the difference between ‘sauce’ and ‘gravy’. Thanks for the clarification!

  63. I try to do the big Sunday dinner at my house too – it’s the one day I have all week to really spend a good amount of time in the kitchen. I’m loving the idea of a big Italian pasta Sunday dinner – what could be better!

  64. Juliana says:

    What a lovely tradition Karen…nothing like a relaxing time with family with delicious food on the table :)
    Thanks for sharing your Sunday feast and hope you are having a fabulous week!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Juliana, for your lovely compliment. There is something special about family and food traditions. Have a lovely week as well.

  65. Caroline says:

    What a nice tradition–and so sweet of you to do that for your husband! This meal looks incredible. Can’t stop staring at that photo. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Caroline, for your nice compliment. My husband loves that I have taken his mother’s famed Sunday dinner and made it a Sunday tradition in our family. The only difference is that I don’t do it every Sunday. But when I tell him that I am going to cook a Sunday feast…his face lights up.

  66. Charles says:

    Hi Karen, sundays in England were a time for roast dinners, although even those aren’t that common. We probably had 2 roasts every 12 weeks maybe when I was growing up… if that! Now I like to do something nice on Sunday – We don’t eat that much meat during the week… we both love eating meat-free stuff right now, but on Sunday I to like to do something nice – a nice piece of meat, or a roast, or a big fish, baked… something like that :)

    I love the look of your dish – the sausage in the centre looks especially delicious :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charles, Thank you for sharing your traditional Sunday dinner. The sausage in the center of the photo isn’t a sausage at all. That is a slice of the braciole. It is a thin slice of meat stuffed with cheese and prosciutto and rolled. It is very tender from the long cooking and adds such wonderful flavor to the sauce.

  67. This is still a pretty traditional way to spend a Sunday in the south of Italy. My mother in law is Sicilian and Sunday lunches are synoym of a huge meal, family, laughter and wine. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog, so glad to have found yours.

    • Karen says:

      Hi NAF, Thank you for visiting and your nice comment. I’m happy to heard the tradition is continuing in the south of Italy. As you say it it all about family.

  68. laubao says:

    Hi Karen!!
    Thank you very much for your comment on my blog!
    At my home, in Prato (near Florence), Italy, we usually have a Saturday dinner all together. For tradition, the “big lunch” should be on Sunday, but it’s easier for us meeting all together on Saturday! We meet all together at my parents’ home: my sister and her family, my two brothers and their family…and me! We are14, all together! My mum usually cooks two different types of pasta, two different types of meat, and one cake! There always is Tuscan bread and salad, too. One thing that is really different is the drink! We drink a lot of water! ..and on our table there are usually a lot of water bottles, and wine (red or white). …it’s a bit different here in England, where I am now, but it’s really interesting, too!
    A big CIAO to you!!
    Laura

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Laubao, for your visit and nice comment. Your family meals together sound wonderful, very much like my husband’s when they were all together. Food and family…memories in the making.

  69. machisan says:

    These are great photos, and really inspiring,

  70. Good Morning Karen (it’s morning here in Sunny So Cal)! What a nice post to wake up to. Love the richness of the sauce with the meats cooked in it. Sounds divine and your photo definitely is an invitation to your Sunday Dinner. Our family, although not Italian, always has had Sunday Dinner. It was a tradition in my grandmother’s family. Her father was a butcher and therefore every Sunday Dinner was some fabulous roast. Our family has evolved from the Red Meat Roast Sundays to all sorts of eclectic cuisine. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Geni, Thank you for your very nice compliment. I enjoyed hearing about your tradition of a Sunday family meal going back to your grandmother’s father bringing home meat from his butcher shop. I’m sure your Sunday meals today…with all sorts of eclectic cuisines are great.

  71. Pam says:

    What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday together. The sauce sound amazing!

  72. Reblogged this on theconservativehillbilly and commented:
    Ain’t fair! 8:40am and I want this dish right now!:)

  73. Now this is truly an Italian feast!

  74. Cara Olsen says:

    Oh, Karen . . . this looks heavenly!

  75. my mouth is watering so much I can barely speak! Good thing I can still type! WOW! It looks amazing. I am coming to your house this sunday for dinner!

  76. “A lettuce and tomato salad dressed with olive oil and vinegar would be served along side. ” There isn’t a single Italian restaurant that understands this. The bread and the salad are not appetizers or pre meal items.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carl, I have to totally agree with your comment. I enjoy having a salad with my meal. I like that it adds something crisp and cuts the richness of a lot of meals.

  77. This is just the kind of meal we love on a Sunday afternoon. The aroma of it simmering on the stove is a treat in itself.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Cathy, for your comment. You are right…the aroma really is a treat. Even when my husband is in our family room, he says that he can smell the sauce simmering away on the stove.

  78. Mmm, that looks incredible!

    In our family, we don’t really have a “special Sunday meal”. We have special occasion meals for Chinese New Year and various special events on the Lunar calendar.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ming, Thank you for your nice compliment. I would love to be able to sit at your table on one of your special occasion meals. They have to be so very special and delicious.

  79. afracooking says:

    Hi Karen, After reading your comment on my latest post over at http://afracooking.wordpress.com/ I just had to check out your blog. You have some fabulous recipes posted – and I particularly enjoyed this one. I love the fact that it not only celebrates good food, but also the joy of eating together and the beauty that comes with keeping family traditions alive.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Afracooking, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment about by blog. I do try to keep family traditions alive. Not only for my family but to encourage others to do so as well.

  80. annperrin says:

    Loved all that about Sunday lunch, I got divorced early on but still with the children on my own Sunday lunch was always a feature of our lives. Now my children are middle aged and my grandchildren teenagers, but still inviting them over to Sunday lunch is the best treat on offer!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ann, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. It is so nice to hear that you still get together with your family on Sundays. You enjoy it and are making memories that your family will treasure.

  81. Kim Forni says:

    You nailed it! What a wonderful dinner!

  82. Pingback: Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs And Basil Tomato Sauce | Back Road Journal

  83. petit4chocolatier says:

    Great post and this looks over the top delicious. Growing up (Mom’s side from Italy), Sunday was the big day of a feast dinner! I incorporated Sunday’s too while my children were growing up. Now that they are in their 20’s and have their own lives, it isn’t Sunday. Loved this post :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much Judy, for your lovely compliment. This is my husband’s favorite meal. It seems this meal is one so many people grew up enjoying around their table on Sunday. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  84. Pingback: Garden To Table…Ripe Tomatoes | Back Road Journal

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