Italian Red Gravy

Italian Red Gravy

By John Carruthers

Marinara, tomato sauce, gravy. It’s all the same thing, and the name you call it typically depends on what the main characters in your favorite Italian-American piece of pop culture refer to it as. Everyone thinks theirs is time-honed and the best, but we’ve found that the real secret is just taking the time to watch and simmer it as opposed to opening a jar.

Makes about 3 cups

The Setup

28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes with juices
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, peeled and cut in half through the root
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
3 large fresh basil leaves


1. Make sure your hands are clean and crush the tomatoes directly into a pot or saucepan. Dump in any extra juices from the can, then add the remaining ingredients.

2. Stir to combine, heat it over medium heat until it begins to boil, then reduce the heat so the sauce cooks at a slow, lazy simmer.

3. Simmer that fucker for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Chat with guests during this time. Tell them never to ask about your business.

4. Discard the onion and immersion blend for a consistent texture. Check seasoning and add salt if necessary.


Recipe from our cookbook, EAT STREET.