Grandma Bellino Italian Gravy Recipe

Charlie Scorsese Makes Gravy in Goodfellas
by Martin Scorsese


My grandmother simply
called this tasty meat sauce Gravy.
It’s made with Veal Shank, chunks of pork shoulder, and Sweet Italian Sausages
braised with a bit of wine and tomatoes. You need long slow cooking to get the
meat tender, and you end up with a hearty, extremely tasty Gravy that everyone will love. All those except people who don’t
eat meat, or don’t eat pork. Well, “Sorry for them,” they don’t know what they’re
missing! As for you, make it, serve it, and relish it!
1 Veal Shank
2 pounds Pork Shoulder
Meat cut into 2” cubes
1 large Onion, peeled
and minced
8 cloves Garlic, peeled
and minced
2 carrots, peeled and
minced fine
2 stalks Celery, washed
& minced fine
¼ cup White Wine
5 – 28 cans Crushed
3 tablespoons Tomato
1 Bay Leaf, ½ a teaspoon
Red Pepper Flakes
2 pounds Sweet Italian
Season the Veal Shank on
both sides with salt & black pepper. Place half the Olive Oil in a 8-quart
non-corrosive pot and brown the veal shanks on high heat until the veal is nice
and golden brown on both sides, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from pot and set
Season the Pork Shoulder
meat with Salt & Pepper. Add Pork to the pot and brown over high heat in
two separate batches.
Once all the meat is nicely browned, remove from pot and set aside. Add onions, celery, and garlic
to pot and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
Season the onions with a bit of salt & pepper. Add wine to pan and cook on high heat while scraping
the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This will dislodge and brown bits
that have a lot of flavor from the bottom of the pan (deglazing). Cook until
the wine is reduced by half its original volume.
Put all the Veal Shank & Pork back in the pot. Add crushed tomatoes, Bay Leaf, Red Pepper flakes,
and tomato paste to pot. Fill an empty tomato can with water and put the water
in the pot. Bring all to the boil, then lower flame to a low simmer.
Simmer for 2 hours 15
minutes, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the pan occasionally with a wooden
spoon so the sauce doesn’t stick.
After the sauce has been simmering for 90 minutes, brown the sausages in a pan with a little olive oil
over medium heat until the sausages a lightly browned on all sides. Remove from
pan and let cool for a few minutes.
Once the sausages are cooled, cut each link into 4 equal pieces each, then put into the sauce.
Remove the Veal Shank from the pot and let cool for a few minutes.
Once the veal has cooled
enough to handle, remove the meat from the veal shank and break into pieces
that are about 2” square. Put the veal meat back in the pot, and let everything
simmer on low heat for another 45 minutes.
To Serve : Cook 1 or 2
pounds of your favorite maccheroni following the directions on the package. We
like to use; Rigatoni, Mezze Monica, Cavatappi, Cavatelli, or any short maccheroni that you like.
When the pasta is ready (finished cooking), remove from heat, and drain in a colander, reserving ¼ cup
or so of the pasta water to mix with the pasta and sauce. Put the pasta back in the pot it cooked in. Add some of the sauce with the pork and sausages to the pot. Drizzle a little olive oil over all and mix.
Spoon pasta onto however many plates you need. Top pasta with some more sauce on top and pass some grated cheese for your guest to apply them-selves. Buon Appetito!
Excerpted From Daniel Bellino “Z” s new upcoming cookbook, 
Available July 2015 on & Barnes & Noble Book Sellers
Grandma Bellino ‘s Italian Cookbook
Recipes from My Sicilian Grandmother 
by Daniel Bellino Z
Nice & Thin For The GRAVY
Paul Castellano & Al Pacino
Francis Ford Coppola’s The GODFATHER


How to Cook Italian Greens

If you don’t already know, green
vegetables are without a doubt the single best thing you can put in your body.
Green vegetables and water, that is. Yes, you’ve gotta have water too.
Yes, green veggies are quite
healthy. Italians love all sorts, other vegetables and fruits too. And they
prepare their vegetables in a multitude of ways.
Italians, and especially
Italian-Americans, love our green vegetables, and we really love greens, like;
Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) and Escarole, or Scarola. Any green vegetables that are
simply sautéed in garlic and olive oil are great favorites. Along with being
immensely beneficial to good health, looking good, and tasting great, these
sautéed greens are quick and easy to prepare.

Sautéed greens are the perfect accompaniment to any meat, fish, or
poultry entrée and are great on their own or with other ingredients in an antipasto
or as bruschetta on grilled or toasted Italian bread. You can prepare Broccoli
Rabe, Escarole, Swiss Chard, Green Beans, Broccoli, Spinach, or Beet Greens all
in this manner.



Escarole, in Italian the word is “scarola.”
In the Italian American dialect of my father’s generation the word is usually
pronounced,”Schka-role.” Few are the young people these days that have ever
even heard the word and I wonder how many have ever tasted this leafy green
that many of us love so. “Schka-role” is of singular importance in the
Italian-American cuisine. In the pantheon of Italian-American foods, escarole
is way up there, along with Broccoli Rabe and Eggplant (melanzane). Escarole
finds itself in soups, in recipes with beans and in stuffed versions, and
sometimes on pizza.
      In our family, my sister Barbara and I
are the ones who love sautéed escarole most. It’s simply sautéed with garlic,
good olive oil, salt & pepper and “Basta,” that’s it, it’s done and it’s
tasty as heck. This sautéed escarole is our favorite side-dish with roast
chicken, pork chops, steak, and grilled fish.
One of the best uses ever for “Scarola” is in the whimsical
Southern-Italian soup, Italian Wedding Soup with chicken broth, chicken, little
meatballs and escarole, “It’s just divine.”

And did you know? “Scarola,” is slang for “Money” in Italian, as in
“That car cost a lot of “Schka-Role!”


heads escarole washed and roughly chopped
cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
teaspoon crushed red pepper, ¼ cup
1. Blanch escarole in boiling salted
water for 2 minutes. Drain off water. Drain again and squeeze excess water from
2. Sauté garlic in oil until it just
begins to brown.

3. Add red pepper and escarole.

Sauté escarole over medium heat for about 6 minutes. Season with Salt and black
pepper and serve.
Excerpted from  SUNDAY SAUCE   by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke


SAUTEED ESCAROLE and Other Recipes in Daniel Bellino-Zwicke ‘s SUNDAY SAUCE