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Paul's Make The Whole Crew Happy Sausage Meatballs With Red Gravy

  • Yield: 6 hearty servings, plus leftover meatballs for sandwiches the next day


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons Emeril's Italian Essence
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 20 cloves garlic, minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons whole anise seeds
  • Two 6-ounce cans tomato paste
  • Four 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, pureed with their juice
  • 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 pound fresh hot sausage, removed from casings
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  • Make the Red Gravy: In a very large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, Italian Essence, salt, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, 6 minutes. Add the garlic and anise seeds and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the paste begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, pureed tomatoes, 2 1/2 cups of water, and the Original Essence and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Make the Sausage Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, Italian sausage, hot sausage, garlic, eggs, Original Essence, salt, and black pepper, and mix briefly but thoroughly to distribute the seasonings. Shape into about 20 large meatballs, about 1/3 cup each, and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Add the Sausage Meatballs to the Red Gravy and do not stir until the meatballs float to the surface, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir well and simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and skimming off any fat that rises to the surface. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve immediately over hot pasta. Pass the grated Parmesan at the table.