Thursday, July 15, 2010

Give Me, Give Me, Give Me Some Gravy Tonight

I think a lot of us are turned off to making our own gravy (spaghetti sauce) because we think it's time consuming. Standing over a hot stove stirring and simmering. Easier and quicker to open up a jar of sauce. I'm also not "into" cooking. I like the idea of cooking, but not the actual work.  So I like recipes that are quick and easy.  My ma taught me how to make gravy. It only takes 30 minutes to make. By the time you set your pan of pasta water to boil and cook your pasta, you can have delicious home-made gravy.

By the way, I tend not to measure. Just throw in a handful of this or a handful of that as the mood strikes. If it can't hurt the pan, it's can't hurt you.

What you need:

- One  28 lb. can of tomatoes. I, like Ma, only use Pastene Tomatoes, "Kitchen Ready". All the work of skinning and seeding the tomatoes has been done. If you can't find the Pastene tomatoes in your area, you might have to process the brand you use through a sieve to remove skin and seeds if necessary. This will add a few minutes to the cook time.

- One 6 oz. can of tomato paste. Any brand will do. I like to use Contadina flavored with garlic

- Enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your sauce pan. Maybe 3 - 4 T. of olive oil

- 3/4 to a full tomato can of water. Depends on how thick you like your gravy or how much company you have. Less water, thicker gravy. More water, more gravy for more guests (-; Only kidding.

- A couple two or three cloves of garlic, whole or chopped. I don't really care much for garlic. I think cooks use too much of it and it can overpower the food. Most times I use 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder if I don't have the garlic flavored tomato paste. Shhhh.

-A small chopped onion. (optional) I like onion, but onion doesn't like me so I use a teaspoon or so of onion flakes. Shhhh.

Herbs/Spices: More or less to your taste or size of your hand (-;
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 T. dried basil
1/2 - 1 T. of dried oregano
Generous pinch of crushed red pepper

A good slug of wine, red or white, optional for the cook and the pan.

Open the tomatoes and the tomato paste. Set the cans aside.

In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Saute garlic and onion, until garlic is soft and onions are translucent. Skip the saute part if using garlic powder and dried minced onion.

Add the tomato paste. Stir to make sure the paste doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Add the can of tomatoes and water. Stir

Reduce heat to low. Stir in all your herbs and spices, garlic powder and dried onion. Cover.

If you've fried meatballs or sausage add them to the gravy at this point.

Simmer for 30 minutes or so. Stir every now and again so the gravy doesn't burn. Serve over your favorite pasta. You can let it simmer a lot longer. Just keep stirring it so the gravy doesn't burn. You also might have to add a little water if your gravy has reduced and is too thick.

If the gravy does burn, take the pan off the heat and let it cool. When cool, dump down your garbage disposal or dump in a plastic ziplock bag if you don't have a disposal and throw away. Open up your favorite jar sauce, nuke, and serve over pasta. If anyone asks if you made the gravy say yes. After all, you have the opened cans as evidence.


Do you like to cook? Do you make your own gravy?


  1. Ha! Thanks for sharing this. I'll give it a shot and let you know how it turns out. Hopefully, it won't have to go down the disposal :)

  2. :D Can't wait to come visit you and sample the gravy. :)