Saturday, January 26, 2013

Italian Tomato Gravy

One of the most wonderful things my husband and I received for our wedding (almost five years ago!) was a booklet of recipes compiled by my husband's late grandmother.  Inside, my mother-in-law had placed this sticky note:

By that point, I had already heard a lot about this legendary tomato sauce.  My husband was so in love with it, in fact, that he turned his nose up at every other version.  Our first year of marriage was full of cooking fails- like the time I accidentally melted a nylon spatula into my chicken approximately one hour into my America's Test Kitchen chicken marsala.  But this tomato gravy, complex despite its simplicity, was a sure bet each and every time I whipped up a batch. 

These days, I usually serve it with Italian sausage, but it also makes a great meat sauce base and is fabulous in homemade lasagna. 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 6-oz cans tomato paste
3 cans water
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sweet basil

1.  Saute onions in oil.  Add garlic, then add all other ingredients.  Cook 1 hour on low.

Makes enough to dress 1 lb of spaghetti, noodles, or with lasagna recipes.

Meat Sauces

Using the above recipe, brown 1/2 to 1 lb ground beef or pork and add to gravy, OR, 8 links of browned Italian sausages may be added.  Be sure to prick sausages with fork before browning.

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