From the Writer’s Kitchen: Sunday Gravy.

Starting something new — have a few good recipes that you can make with pantry staples that you should still be able to get at your local grocery store.

We’ll start with Mom-sauce. Also known as Sunday Gravy, if you grew up the child of a Bronx Italian mother. This isn’t the same sauce my Mom would make — I riffed on it when I got my own kitchen. This has more texture and no meat. If you want meat in your gravy, add in a pound or two of browned ground meat. It can be whatever ground meat you like, or a combination of meats. Want all beef? Go all beef. Want chicken and turkey? Do it. Want lamb? Wow, that’s fancy.

Considering that getting meat right now is a dicey proposition, we’ll go with a standard marinara. Just know that you CAN add meat if you want. Just brown it up first.

Okay. Here’s the basic recipe for Mom-sauce (aka Sunday Gravy)

One big can diced tomatoes
One big can crushed tomatoes.
One big can tomato puree
One little can tomato paste

Put into a large pot. Fill each can with water and add that to the pot. Season to your particular taste (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, more garlic, that’s not enough garlic, basil, oregano…)

If your pot is not oven safe, put it on the back burner of your stove and let it barely simmer uncovered alllll day. Not even kidding here. It will take all day. Stir often.  It should reduce by half.

If your pot IS oven safe (lid and all), cover and put into a 400 degree oven for one hour. Remove lid and stir. Return to oven and let cook uncovered for another 90 minutes to two hours, stirring every so often. Should reduce by half.

Portion into meal sized containers (about two cups is good for a pound of pasta), and freeze. Defrost as necessary.

This is usually enough for us (a family of three) to last about two months, eating it once a week. If I make lasagna, it’ll last a month.

Now, before anyone starts yelling “That’s not how my Nona made Sunday gravy!” No, it probably isn’t. This is how I make Sunday gravy, and is based on how my mother taught me to make Sunday gravy. Your mileage may vary.

What do you think?

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