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Don't post in here much, but was just wondering how you all make your Italian sauces/gravies. Personally, I don't have time to do the all day routine so I just go out and buy the stuff in the store and mix in my own basil, oregano, sugar(a tad), etc.


I love my sauce chunky so I cut up large pieces of onion, fresh mushrooms, green and red peppers, stewed tomatoes, and add Italian sausage and ground beef. Hell, I could eat the sauce as a meal in itself. :wacko:


I really want to make a from scratch gravy and would really love it if someone like Whomper could send me his mother's recipe. During my TG trip up north, I found out that my brothers all have my mom's recipe and I now have it also. Just curious as to how similar hers would be to other real Italians' recipes.

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Ms Cid makes the best marinara sauce. She got it from her friend's mother who is so Sicillian that she has olive oil in her veins. Nothing was written down, she just watched her enough times to get it figured out. I took the time to observe her and to actually quantify everything. Everything was kind of like "you fill the bottom of the pot with onions until it looks right" kind of thing. I've made it from this recipe before it while it still requires some flexibility, this is pretty much spot on.


Momma Sciarra's Marinara


3 large onions diced

6-10 cloves of garlic, minced (don't use a garlic press, you lose too much of the oils)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 lbs tomatoes peeled and diced (you can substitute 2 large 29oz cans of diced tomatoes if you don't want to do the cleaning and cutting part)

1 large 29 oz can tomato sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 Tbs oregano -----\

1 Tbs basil ------------> double if using fresh

1 Tbs parsley ------/

1 1/2 Tbs fennel seed

2 bay leaves


In a large pot, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent (5 to 10 minutes). Add the diced tomato, the tomato sauce and the tomato paste. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Add the oregano, basil and parsley and cook for about 1/2 hour. Add the fennel seed and cook until the sauce is the consistency you want (approx 1 hour). Add the bay leaves and cook for 2 minutes. Check the seasonings. If too bitter, add some sugar. If too sweet, add garlic salt.


Notes: You can omit the paste but it will take longer to get to the right consistency. Chances are that if you go with canned tomatoes and no paste then you won't need to add sugar. If you use paste, then you will definitely need the sugar. With fresh tomatoes, it is a crap shoot, sometimes yes, sometimes no. It all depends on the sweetness in the tomatoes. Go light on the sugar or garlic salt to adjust the seasonings, a little goes a long way. Maybe start with just a teaspoon and work up from there.

Edited by Kid Cid
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Absolutely MUST use San Marzano tomatoes for this. Super easy weeknight recipe. Best sauce I've found.


Add fresh or store bought meatballs for an even better sauce. We use the ones from Sam's or Costco.





• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 2 teaspoons minced garlic

• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

• 1 teaspoon oregano, dried

• 1 teaspoons basil, dried

• 1 whole bay leaves

• 1/2 teaspoon sugar

• Salt and pepper, to taste


Over medium heat, heat oil in a large pot until hot. Add onion and garlic, saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions begin to appear translucent. Add the tomatoes, stir to mingle the flavors. Add in the herbs and bay leaves. Sprinkle in sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally.

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Man do I wish that I could figure out how to make a great sauce. I love me some rigatoni but I have to pay to have a dish that I really like. I have two local resturans that I eat at at least once a week for my pasta. It really sucks as we just can't seem to get it right at home. I like some sweetness to the sauce and I like it on the thicker side. Just can't seem to make it at home.

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marinara (i make this every week)


2 white onions (diced)

2 C red wine

#10 can of roma tomatos (w/sauce) edit: #10 can= 6 lbs

1 1/2 C honey

3 C water

5 bay leaves

4 sprigs of thyme

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 C basil (chopped)



in a large sauce pot sweat onions (cook until soft). add red wine.... reduce by 1/2. add everything except basil..... bring to a boil. turn heat down and let simmer for 30min to 1 hr. remove bay leaves and thyme. blend (puree). add basil... let cool.



no longer make this weekly :wacko:


for home use 1/2 or 1/4 the recipe.

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