Here is the content of an email I sent to my friend, after she requested the recipe for my Speshal Sauce (p.s. my family hails from central Italy and we NEVER, EVER called it 'gravy.' Just saying.) I got an email from a reader, too, after I posted about my grocery issues, asking for the recipe but I [am lazy and no good] lost that email and so, here it is!
Lots of olive oil (and maybe a little buttah, if I have it)
3 big cans tomato sauce (28 oz or whatever?)
2 big cans tomato puree
1 big can of tomato paste (or two of the teeny ones)
1 medium onion, chopped
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced, blitzed or pressed
Salt and pepper
handful of dried oregano
I get a VAT and put a good deal of olive oil in there (and maybe a little buttah.) Since there's no meat in there and there's lots of tomato, you can't be afraid of the oil. I put it on medium heat and when the oil is hot, I saute the onion. Put some salt/pepper in with the onion (you want to soften it, not brown it.) Stir it frequently and open all those effing cans.
When the onion is soft and translucent, I throw in the garlic for like, THIRTY SECONDS. You seriously BARELY cook it. Then I quick put the tomato paste in and stir it all around with a fancy wooden spoon [I bought her one kind of like this b/c she was SERIOUSLY kitchen utensil CHALLENGED], so it all dissolves and is easier to stir, and then you dump in all the tomatoes. It will be pretty thick and need some water to thin it down. I usually start by filling one of the large tomato cans with water and dumping that in. I may add a little more. It's going to cook down a lot and so you want it a kind of thin(ish) consistency to start with.
Then I add a palm-full of dried oregano and a little more salt and pepper. You should taste it to adjust the seasonings a little but it still is raw-like and won't taste all that great. The secret is the LONG-ASS COOK TIME. I bring it to a bubble and then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. I stir it now and again but honestly, I cook it for like, 5-6 hours. It is DELISH.
You can halve the recipe, obv and after it cooled, I put it into 4 cup servings into the freezer.
Now, you're like a REAL DAGO....(I wonder what my genetic profile would say...lol.)
And so now, here's my off-color, totally politically incorrect ethnic joke. If you are offended, I am sorry in advance. But I can't help it. I love it.
Me: How can you tell where Pink Flamingos live?
You: I don't know, how?
Me: You just look for the little plastic Italian men in the front yards...