I'd have called it sauce, but among Italian-Americans with roots in the old country's tomato-rich south, gravy is the name.
Sunday gravy, it's usually called, since for early Italian immigrants, meat was too expensive and slow-cooking was too time-consuming to prepare this dish more than once a week. But think multiple meals: The sausage, meatballs, braised pork and beef, and San Marzano tomatoes that I enjoyed over pasta ($5) are also served by Table Tales in a hollowed-out sandwich roll and jarred for use at home.
Of the uncountable number of ways to prepare Sunday gravy, here's another, which seems to dispense with a rigid recipe. Serves 20 guys.
Table Tales Cafe
241 Water St. (Beekman St.-Peck Slip)
At the New Amsterdam Market