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Cooking: Italian "Gravy"?

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andidandi
Arlington, VA

June 16, 2009
10:44 PM

Post #6697481

Anyone here an Italian American? How do you distinguish what I see on tv (usually in mob shows, but I don't mean that as a disparagement, just a reference) called Gravy? (Think Goodfellas or Sopranos).

How is it prepared? What distinguishes it from other tomato sauces? Thanks.
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

June 16, 2009
11:02 PM

Post #6697552

It's typically called Sunday Gravy and it's a combo of sauce and meats and it's terribly fattening and terribly delicious :) This is the best recipe I know of:


http://therecipereader.com/sunday-gravy-raos.htm

Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

June 16, 2009
11:36 PM

Post #6697715

I sent andidandi a video on youtube. I normally would not post this because the cook does use some 'unusual' language so please don't play this around the kiddies, but it's the very best presentation of how to make Sunday Gravy I've ever seen.

And yes, it's so good - we make it only once a year - you can see why :)

Again, if you don't like to hear some 'iffy' language, don't click it - but she does Sunday Gravy right!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dZTexwyonw

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

June 16, 2009
11:41 PM

Post #6697734

My husband is Italian-American and his family always made "red gravy." It's just tomato sauce, and everyone has her own recipe for it. I make mine with Italian sausage which I cook first, and then I put the crushed or pureed tomato in. If I want it to be fairly thick I'll also include a small can of paste. I add garlic, oregano, basil and a bay leaf, and also a teaspoon to a tablespoon of sugar to help the flavors marry, and I cook it for a while.

Red gravy is distinct from brown gravy, which is made without tomatoes but with meat juices instead.

This message was edited Jun 16, 2009 7:42 PM
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 17, 2009
4:56 PM

Post #6700965

i was in the grocery store and a lady started telling me how she makes her sauce the "real" italian way--the difference was she added brown sugar and worchester sauce--said it turned out a little more brownish red--i have no idea if this is right or not but she seemed to love it---my best way is to cook the sausage and meatballs in the sauce---the first time i heard that i thought it sounded very fattening (which i guess it is ) and greasy but it is so rich and wonderful---and easy--my mother always used pork neck bones i believe in it
andidandi
Arlington, VA

June 17, 2009
7:02 PM

Post #6701536

Thanks Linda. I will have to work through this.
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 17, 2009
8:20 PM

Post #6701928

dea i watched the video and wrote down what i needed to buy and how to make the sauce--then i decided it was too fattening to make now-so i left for the store with out the list--wellllllllll----wouldn't you know the store had all the things i needed for that sauce on sale! it was meant to be--i ended up getting it (i remembered what i needed) and also bought the neck bones my mother used in her recipes and tomorrow i will make the sauce--
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

June 17, 2009
9:18 PM

Post #6702183

We'll be there on Sunday for dinner; need to find a cheap flight :) Promise, I'll bring the pasta :)

planolinda
Plano, TX

June 17, 2009
9:27 PM

Post #6702219

well i'm actually planning on making it tomorrow! can you get one of those lasst minute flight deals? don't worry about the pasta-i've got it covered! the wine and bread too--i'll even get us an italian movie to watch afterwards and spumoni ice cream!

if you want to bring a few soft shell crabs or crab cakes that will be great!
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

June 17, 2009
9:29 PM

Post #6702231

lol - I was just about to start a thread about soft-shells - oh my they were good last Sunday :) I'll start the thread soon!
andidandi
Arlington, VA

June 17, 2009
10:35 PM

Post #6702472

planolinda should not push her luck. I could be there in two hours, soft shells in hand.
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 17, 2009
11:12 PM

Post #6702627

oh i am ready!! and you are welcome! i am getting hungry just thinking about those soft shell crabs!!!!!
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 21, 2009
2:49 PM

Post #6718635

the authentic italian gravy dea gave the link to was just wonderful--i made lots -you almost have to --and froze lots--my fireman son said that at his firehouse they make meatball sandwiches with some grated provolone on top and since my sauce has lots of meatballs in it i think i will do that too---by the way--i feel like i found a great shortcut--our grocery deli sells uncooked meat loaf to just pop in the oven--well i decided that meatloaf is made with pork and beef ground, bread crumbs, egg, italian seasonings etc---perfect for meat balls! that was the way i made my meatballs and they were great!
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

June 21, 2009
2:51 PM

Post #6718640

I'm so glad it turned out well - I'll bet it was yummy :)
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 21, 2009
2:55 PM

Post #6718654

dea i enjoyed the couple who did the video---do you know if they have done others? and do you have other fun cooking videos to suggest? i watched it a couple of times to make sure i remembered everything and i learned a few things plus even the second time i got a kick out of them both! very funny couple
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



June 21, 2009
4:43 PM

Post #6719052

This is something new to me. Am I right in thinking that once it's done, you serve the meat separately and put the sauce on pasta?

What is it about this recipe that is so fattening?
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 21, 2009
5:42 PM

Post #6719233

well you could serve the meat separately--i do not since it is cooked in the sauce and i don't feel like fishing it out--
what is so fattening? well the meats cook in the sauce so don't get drained like you do when you cook in fry pan--i did skim the grease off the top
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



June 21, 2009
5:52 PM

Post #6719282

Thanks! I guess I was wond3ering about the meat because I was surprised the lady in the video put HUGE pieces of meat in the sauce. I thought it would have been cut up in smaller pieces.

I didn't think about the fat in the meat. That makes sense.
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 21, 2009
7:41 PM

Post #6719620

i did make a change in the video recipe--the big pieces of meet she put in (a type of flank) i substituted pork neck bones because my mother always did and when i looked up authentic italian recipes they often used the neck bones--so at the end of the cooking the meat on the neck bones just fell off and were so flavorful and tender
andidandi
Arlington, VA

June 21, 2009
10:20 PM

Post #6720132

I did some research on this, and saw that in some cases there is a thing called a braciole prepared at the same time, and put into the sauce, and that meat is served separately, so it wouldn't surprise me to see meat added and removed. Hopefully, someone who knows will contribute.
andidandi
Arlington, VA

June 21, 2009
10:29 PM

Post #6720166

I should add that Dea did give the recipe (I recall Martha saying on her show that even she can't get a table there) from the place that used braciole in the sauce. I missed the reference.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2009
6:49 PM

Post #6723821

Great video Dea!

One point though - please keep in mind that "authentic Italian" can vary greatly, depending on the region of Italy. Even the language varies significantly with the regional dialects. The cuisine of the southern "mezzogiorno" region of Italy differs quite a bit from the northern regions. Sicily has its own distinct cuisine.

DH's family is primariy from Apuglia (with a few folks from Naples tossed in between). His nonni was a great cook and he remembers that she had a habit of cussin' in the kitchen too. He learned his most colourful words while helping her cook. LOL!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

June 22, 2009
8:59 PM

Post #6724405

Not only do different regions have their own recipes, but different people from the same region have different ones as well. Every woman in my husband's family had her own method of making red gravy and she was convinced that hers was the holy grail of red gravy! I have to say that I have never heard of anyone adding worcestershire sauce to it, though!
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 22, 2009
9:51 PM

Post #6724728

oh-i forgot to mention that i did add the worcestershire sauce to it and it was good--but first i googled it--put in spaghetti sauce and worcestershire and sure enough it is the secret ingredient in some italian spaghetti sauces! i know--i wasn't sure if i should do it or not till i checked it out--funny what you can do on the computer!
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2009
10:56 PM

Post #6724997

Very interesting, especially when one considers that Worchestershire sauce is British!
I wonder if Worchestershire sauce came into use in Italian sauces for the anchovy flavour?
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2009
11:12 PM

Post #6725051

That would be my guess!
planolinda
Plano, TX

June 23, 2009
1:23 AM

Post #6725587

i have no idea--i guess i could go and look it up but what is worchestershire sauce anyhow? to me it is sort of salty and a little sweet but i am not good at taking apart tastes--i am pretty much only able to say if i like something or not!
andidandi
Arlington, VA

June 25, 2009
1:27 AM

Post #6734460

Linda, I think it's anchovy based.

I've been across Italy and the food is obviously quite different than the notion of Italian food that has entered the US popular culture. Different cuisine entirely, it seems.

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