Not Your Nonna’s Gravy: Red Sauce Sundays at the Salty Pig

red sauce sundays salty pig

Photograph by Anthony Tieuli

Just in case the Salty Pig’s roster of prosciutto-topped pizzas, pâtés, and, yes, pig parts aplenty weren’t comfort-driven enough for you on a wintry weekend, the Back Bay eatery has upped the ante with Red Sauce Sundays, a weekly menu transforming the industrial-chic restaurant into a North End–style, red-checkered-tablecloth trattoria. Chef Kevin O’Donnell and executive sous chef Michael Lombardi, who both cut their teeth cooking through Italy and at New York’s Del Posto, bring that experience to bear on oft-changing red-sauce staples like fried mozzarella, veal saltimbocca, and chicken Parm. Although O’Donnell and Lombardi both grew up in Italian-American households, O’Donnell says that they aren’t leaning too hard on recipes from the past: “I don’t have this fantasy fairy tale of breading chicken cutlets with my grandmother,” he says. Which leaves them free to riff on the classics with a modern perspective. For instance, this next-level take on spaghetti and meatballs: heaping tangles of house-made noodles, bright, made-to-order marinara, and soft spheres of beef, pork, and Pecorino, all finished with fresh-shaved Parmesan and a dab of meaty bone marrow—a final flourish that makes this “typical” red-sauce dish anything but.