Italian Tomato Sauce "Gravy" (Recipe)

Italian Gravy

Some call it Tomato Sauce and others call it "Gravy", whatever you call it is a must have for the Italian Family kitchen.

I have fond memories of a large pot of Gravy simmering all day on on Saturday !  The simple pleasure of dipping Italian bread in to the sauce as it is simmering or cheating a piece of sausage or a meatball as a prelude to the meal to come.


Start your Gravy it in the morning as your day goes by and  your home will be filled with the feeling of warmth and comfort! As the children come is they will ask it it is ready yet and eagerly ask if they can have some before dinner is ready. You give in..... 

As you lovingly scrape down the sides and stir the gravy up from the bottom you are overwhelmed with a deep sense of satisfaction as well as the pride that comes with following family tradition.

I know it is just a recipe for tomato sauce but for me it is so much more, it is love!


Italian Tomato Sauce  "Gravy'


2 cans 28 oz San Marzano Tomatoes crushed

1 can. 28 oz Italian Tomatoes puree

1 large can Tomato paste

1 medium bulb garlic peeled and chopped

1/8 cup fine grated carrot

1 cup fine chopped onion

1/8. cup fine chopped celery

1/2 heaping tbsp Mexican oregano

1 heaping tbsp leaf basil

1  tbsp dry Italian parsley

 1 tsp black pepper

2 pinches crushed red chili

1 tbsp salt or to taste

1/8 cup lard (or olive oil)

1/8 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 cup red wine

1/8 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley

5 large fresh basil leaves torn

2 cans water


  • In a large pot, heat the lard till it crackles when a drop of water is added.
  1. Reduce heat to medium Add garlic and brown lightly Add onion,carrot, celery and cook till soft

  2. Add all dry herbs, and wine hold back the salt pepper, chilies, fresh herbs and parm till end Reduce till almost dry.

  3. Add all tomato products and water Mix well add salt. pepper.chilies and parm.

  4. Simmer the "gravy" till thick and not watery. Stir often to assure it does not burn. When the sauce is done about 2 hours add the fresh herbs, stir and serve or use in your favorite recipe.

Freeze in small containers If you are making meatballs you may add them to your gravy while it is cooking. Same for Italian Sausage.

* Try browning Pancetta and using the natural drippings instead of lard

* When making Italian Meatballs start your sauce in the same pot you fry them in or be sure to de-glaze the pan and add the drippings to your sauce. Enjoy!


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