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Sunday Red Gravy or Sugo


Paul Bacino
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Joesan..

I bet I'm a product of a family grocery store.. we got what we got and grandma must have used more of that type of can stuff. btw.. I put up my fair share of fresh produce in the summer and canning/jarring plum tomatoes is included.

I was talking to another individual about sugo and gravy.. its fuuny though my grandma never used "pasta and sauce/sugo " it was always " Macaroni and Gravy "

Thanks for adding to the thread..

Paul

Also it is a fond memory of the store :sad:

Its good to have Morels

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I've haven't yet tried canning/jarring tomatoes - so I'm jealous. When I was in Italy last summer we saw people jarring tomatoes over wood fires. Can you imagine the smokey deliciousness of those?

I see in the window of your grandma's shop that they had fresh home made Italian sausage. I bet they were good. I must say I'd love to make my own salsiccia but am a bit daunted by the prospect. I've made my own guanciale. It's super easy to do and makes a great addition to the sugo.

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I've haven't yet tried canning/jarring tomatoes - so I'm jealous. When I was in Italy last summer we saw people jarring tomatoes over wood fires. Can you imagine the smokey deliciousness of those?

They can't compete with the homemade product, but you can find fire-roasted canned tomatoes by Muir Glen (sometimes I see them at Trader Joe's too). The mild smokiness adds an extra dimension to a red sauce that I like, and is especially welcome when I'm not adding any meat.


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Oh, Paul....the photo of your family's grocery store really touches my heart, and thank you for posting it. It reminds me of so many little grocery stores in the New Orleans of my childhood — many of them Italian; most of them gone.

I live in Manhattan now. Over the years, I've watched big business and extortionary rents crush mom-and-pop store one store at a time. Saddens me to the core.

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  • 3 years later...

This is my sugo di carne.

I usually mix three kinds of meat: here some chuck roast for beef, pork cheeks and lamb neck. Half an onion, some salice salentino, some tomato concentrate, canned tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt. On the peeled tomatoes, the most of American brands or also Italian sold to the US taste so funny to me, the juice is so thick. Since I don't want to spend on miracolo di San gennaro brand, I use Mutti, the only decent one in the not too expensive range.

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I pass the tomato with a food mill and cut the meat in big chunks

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I brown the meat in extra virgin olive oil, using one pot and an extra pan, adding the onion almost at the end, so it can get some color without burning. I eventually combine everything in the big pot.

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I add a couple tablespoons of tomato concentrate, deglaze with a glass of red wine and I add my tomatoes. Then I add about two empty cans of water and salt.

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And bring to a vigorous boil

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After a bit lower the heat and keep cooking

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It's ready in about 2 and half, 3 hours. The sauce should not be runny that will water down the pasta but not too thick.

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The sauce is for pasta, the meat is "secondo", served afterwards with a side of salad or some vegetables.

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I always love it when the glistening-- fat pearls start forming on top of the sauce..

Reminds me of the Retsyn crystals in certs-- if anyone remembers those things.

Nice Franci " NOW thats a MEAT SAUCE " :wink:

Best Doc Paully

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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I am surprised.. no one has a Family recipe, they care to share.. something passed on from Nonna ? dry.gifsad.gif

Maybe I didn't ask, but if you care to share one, great.

Best any way.

Paul

My recipe might not be, technically correct, but is what was learned in grandma's kitchen to the best of my knowledge.

Here is our family store!! Lost with the growth of the SUPERMARKET.

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It reminds me of some of the stores and homes in the older part of the town in which I spent my childhood. Thanks for the pleasant memories.

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 ... Shel


 

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I noticed that many of the techniques and recipes here use the addition of water - sometimes a fair amount of it. What's the idea behind adding water - to this uneducated-in-the-ways-of-sugo guy, it seems that the water would only dilute the flavors and the sauce?

 ... Shel


 

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I noticed that many of the techniques and recipes here use the addition of water - sometimes a fair amount of it. What's the idea behind adding water - to this uneducated-in-the-ways-of-sugo guy, it seems that the water would only dilute the flavors and the sauce?

it use a lot of water because the sauce is going to be boiling fairly quickly at the beginning and then simmer for 2-3 hours. Without the addiction of water it would be way too thick for the sauce I'm used to. At the end the sauce is coating the spoon, as I said, I don't want to water down my pasta on the plate but I don't want a very dense sauce either.

I'm from Puglia, so my sugo is definitely a little different than how is made in Naples and it is going to be different than a "toccu" from Genoa. Also, I don't think mine is how my grandmother used to make. They used to make "tomato paste" in the house at the time and didn't use canned tomatoes for sure, it was traditional to add wild board fresh guanciale at the time. The famous "braciole", that sometimes are added to the sugo (called ragu' in Naples) are often prepared with horse meat in my area. Horror to the American public, I know, but to me it's kind of normal.

So, let's say this is my father "modern" sugo di carne. I try to use meat with gelatin, so chuck and cheeks are great.

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Franci - many years ago, I was friends with an Italian family that made their meat sauce & pasta the exact same way, so that's how I've been doing it, too, for several decades. I don't serve the pasta with sauce as a first course, though. I've made it a little more "Americanized," or at least more how I've observed is common here. I serve it all at once, on the same plate, but I have to plate it in the kitchen to keep my 'Merican friends from dumping the whole thing, meat and sauce and all, over the pasta, as we are wont to do.

What I do is to make the pasta, then toss it very simply with a little olive oil or butter and salt and pepper. I put a serving of meat (a pork chop, piece of sausage, rib, couple of meatballs) on each plate. Then a side of pasta, how you'd do mashed potatoes or rice or something. Then ladle the red sauce over the pasta. The meat is very clearly separate on the plate.

Totally love doing it that way.

If I'm making up a more typical American/Italian meat red sauce, rather than ground beef, I use bulk Italian sweet sausage. My family always liked it much better than hamburger meat.

And Franci, let me take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy your posts. They're always fun, informative. Wonderful. Thank you for your generous spirit of sharing.

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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thanks, Jaymes. I always enjoy your posts as well, with you and many more on Egullet, I try to learn more on American food and I admit, I know very little, and I feel sorry for that because it is very interesting and despite the prejudices some Europeans have (Italians do have!) there are so many wonderful food traditions here.

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Does anyone ever add carrot or onions to their gravy? I find a bit of carrot sweetens up the sauce along with the sugar.

Mama Leone's used to be a very famous, and excellent Italian restaurant. In 1967, her son, Gene, wrote a cookbook with many of the restaurant's best recipes, and someone gave it to me as a wedding gift.

Most of the recipes were pretty long and involved, but all were excellent.

Mama Leone put carrots into her red sauces for that very reason - adds a touch of sweetness. So I've always done it as well.

Leone's Italian Restaurant Cookbook

Awesome! I'm not alone in the carrot-adding world. smile.gif

I've also thrown diced celery in at times...it just depends on how vegetable-y I want the sauce.

edited to add that I purchased this cookbook on Amazon--can't wait to get it! Thanks for showing it to me!

Shelby - note that it's been a while since you bought the Mama Leone's book. What did you think of it?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Does anyone ever add carrot or onions to their gravy? I find a bit of carrot sweetens up the sauce along with the sugar.

Mama Leone's used to be a very famous, and excellent Italian restaurant. In 1967, her son, Gene, wrote a cookbook with many of the restaurant's best recipes, and someone gave it to me as a wedding gift.

Most of the recipes were pretty long and involved, but all were excellent.

Mama Leone put carrots into her red sauces for that very reason - adds a touch of sweetness. So I've always done it as well.

Leone's Italian Restaurant Cookbook

Awesome! I'm not alone in the carrot-adding world. smile.gif

I've also thrown diced celery in at times...it just depends on how vegetable-y I want the sauce.

edited to add that I purchased this cookbook on Amazon--can't wait to get it! Thanks for showing it to me!

Shelby - note that it's been a while since you bought the Mama Leone's book. What did you think of it?

Wow, this is a strange coincidence! I am sitting here--before you even posted--going through that cookbook! I have a bunch of ground pork and I'm not in an Asian mood, so I am going to make a meat sauce of some kind. I was looking for inspiration in there.

I quite like the cookbook. The recipes are straight-forward and easy to follow. And, I always love a cookbook that tells about the family and stories about the recipes.

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