Grandma's Gravy

Remember that time I told you the story about the silly little Irish girl who went to college and smothered her pasta in Prego? Well that same silly girl also thought gravy was what you put on a turkey at Thanksgiving (yes, she used to eat turkey—I told you she was silly). Turns out when you are Italian, gravy is way more than a condiment. It is a way of life. It runs through your veins, pores seeping with basil and garlic. It is stashed by the pound in your freezer, for impromptu family get-togethers, which most certainly call for trays of ravioli and red sauce. If you are not lucky enough to be born Italian, you will have to do the next best thing—marry the cutest Italian boy you can find. If you are lucky like me, you husband will have a sweet grandma who doesn’t know just how good her cooking is, but is always willing to share.

Part two of this story, goes something like this…About a month back, I made this gravy one Sunday afternoon. I didn’t look at the recipe card, as I knew it by heart—garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and basil. We enjoyed it that night and my husband proclaimed, “this might be better than grandma’s gravy”. Proud, that I could finally live up to the family name, I didn’t realize until later that I had left the can of water out of the original recipe. Now I am not saying one recipe is better than the other, I am much smarter than that, and wouldn’t want to lose my status as favorite daughter-in-law (yes, I am the only one). But I will say one thing—the Irish girl can whip up a mean batch of gravy.

Grandma’s Gravy
serves one big Italian family

3 T olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-oz cans Pastene Kitchen-Ready peeled tomatoes
1 can water (optional)
1 bunch basil, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

In large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium. Add garlic, and sauté 3-4 minutes, until garlic begins to brown. Add tomatoes, water (if using) and basil. Cover and simmer at least 2 hours. Season, to taste.


Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life said...

Yum! Think I might make some this weekend!

Tracy (Amuse-bouche for Two) said...

Everything looks so delicious...I can't figure out what I want to eat first. :)

Dana said...

I love all that fresh basil in there! I would leave the can of water out too. I like my sauce (I can't say gravy as there is no Italian blood in either of our families) really concentrated. :)

jacqueline said...

Ohhh i wanna make this as well!! Looks soo yummieeee! I love freash basil. :) Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

Johanna GGG said...

I have a lot of Irish ancestry and my family's idea of gravy is the browned onions - I have found some nice variations on it but what you make is what I know as pasta sauce - I confess I grew up with gravy as something to eat with roast beef and now I mostly eat it with nut roast - not terribly imaginative.

BTW your basil looks so fresh and delicious

Angela2932 said...

MY Italian mother always put in a little pinch of cloves, and a carrot or two (that later got tossed), which added just a hint of sweetness. But like you said, there's more than one Italian gravy.

melissa said...

looks divine :-) I have the same recipe, how funny! although I don't use the water...might have to give it a try and check out the difference. Thanks for sharing, the pictures are gorgeous!

Joy said...

I am all over Grandma's Gravy -- anything with Grandma in the title I know it's gotta be good! Loved the funny story that went along with this recipe, I may not be Italian but I can definitely appreciate a fine delicious gravy like the one youve posted!!!

kiss my spatula said...

my irish husband will be making this for us this week. :)

tara said...

I would take a bath in that gravy.

And my husband is Irish. So really, this was meant for us.