A Very Mob Wives Thanksgiving Menu


In any Italian home, Thanksgiving isn’t just about the turkey, and gravy isn’t necessarily the brown variety. It’s about a full Italian feast with pasta, meatballs, and red sauce. Here are two of Renee’s classic Italian dishes, straight from her kitchen.

Renee Graziano’s Meatballs

1 LB. ground beef chuck
1 LB. ground pork
1 LB. ground veal
5 slices white bread
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
2 tsp salt
1½ tsps. freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil for frying

Cooking Directions:

Combine all of the meat in a large bowl. Soak the bread and milk together in a separate bowl. When the milk is absorbed, add the bread mixture to the meat. Add the remaining ingredients except the olive oil. Mix well.

Roll into balls 1 ½ – 2 inch round. Heat the olive oil in a 10 inch frying pan.

Fry over medium heat about 10- 12 meatballs at a time until nicely browned. Place in the sauce. Repeat as many times as necessary until all of the meatballs are browned.

Simmer uncovered on low heat until meatballs are fully cooked and the sauce mellows, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove the herb sprigs and serve.

This recipe was styled and developed by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

Tomato Sauce Alla Renee Graziano

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 Tbs. minced fresh garlic
¼ cup minced parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3- 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomato
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
Cooking Directions

In a 6 quart pot over medium flame, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and herbs. Saute’ over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent but not brown. Add the salt and pepper and all of the tomato product. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the meatballs. Simmer 1 ½-2 hours. If using without the meatballs simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove herb stems and serve.

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