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When I worked in an Italian restaurant there was difference between tomato sauce and gravy. the former was very much along the lines of what Mario makes. the latter was a long cooked tomato sauce in which country ribs simmered for a long time along with a lot more flavor components like bay leaf, oregano, garlic, etc. This "gravy" had a much more complex and meaty flavor with a darker color.

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Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for

twenty guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some

garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn't

stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh?... And a

little bit o' wine. An' a little bit o' sugar, and that's my trick.

By Clemenza.

(And tell that nice girl you love her.)

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Interesting. Do you think I could get away with making my sauce base (can it) and then later in the winter, popping open a jar to continue the gravy process with meat and all that jazz?

 

yes, but I would keep the base sauce as plain as possible for now.

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I make tomato paste by reducing a plain tomato sauce until it's thick. The first time I made it with vine-ripened tomatoes I was really surprised by how sweet the finished product was. Tasted almost like tomato candy.

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Sure, but it doesn't taste the same as when you use ripe, in-season fresh local tomatoes.

 

not when they're in season, no. but coming out of the freezer in december or out of a box with no preservatives....

 

The sauce we make (in-season) and eat defrosted in December is seriously good. Worth the effort.

What recipe do you use?

 

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My Sicilian mother-in-law never, ever put onion in any of her red sauces. Lots of olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, dried red peppers, salt and pepper. Maybe some table red wine. Never onion. She said onion was not traditional. I wondered if she just didn't like onion.

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Nor my friend's mom's (she is of Sicilian descent) that I mentioned above.

 

that of Nan, mother of a high school friend and the best cook I have ever known. She minces garlic, cooks it very slowly in olive oil, adds tomatoes and salt. Adding chopped basil or parsley optional. That's it. The quality and freshness of the ingredients is of course paramount.
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