Quick Gravy From The REAL Francesca Rinaldi

It is still considered sacrilege, if not outright profane, for one to open up a store-bought jar, pour it over their pasta and claim, with any shred of dignity, that dinner is served – you just don’t do those types of things in my family.

To add even more complication to preparation, Papa was a fairly plain eater. This is not to say he was picky, rather, he was just extremely particular.

This quick and easy recipe was but one way that Fran was able to contend with his persnickety preferences, while still putting her individual seal on the meal. Posted per a request.


-medium saucepan
-wooden cucchia(d) aka wooden spoon

-2, 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
-2 tbs of olive oil
-2 pinches of salt
-8 pinches of sugar
-24-30 oz. of water (4 to 5 tomato paste cans, refilled with water)
-2 shakes of garlic powder


In medium sauce pan heat olive oil on medium-high heat (hot pan, cold oil). Scoop tomato paste into pan and begin to “fry” it in the oil. Attempt to smooth it out by stirring constantly.

Add one pinch of salt and continue to fry until it just begins to start loosing it’s bright red color. Lower heat to medium and slowly pour first can of tomato paste, stirring all the while.

Allow the mixture to re-thicken with the heat (still stirring) and add remaining salt, sugar and garlic powder. Add second can of water and allow to reduce, stirring constantly. Repeat this process with remaining water until it yields a semi-soupy, sweet gravy.

Add more sugar/salt to taste. Best served over angel hair, spaghettini, spaghetti, elbows, shells or wagon wheels. We are talking a meal for 3-4 for about $2.00, that takes just as long as it does to cook the macaroni (al dente).

Note: Be on the lookout for this author’s updated, more substantial, protein-heavy, veganized/faux-meat version, that is just about as quick, in an upcoming post.

Note II: This post was by no means inspired by Scorsese’s Italianamerican or it’s recipe at 8:25.

20130824-094428.jpgShown in original gravy boat from Frances


2 thoughts on “Quick Gravy From The REAL Francesca Rinaldi

  1. Thank you so much (cousin)!!!!!!!!!! My father doesn’t remember ANYTHING so I figured I would never get to learn a lot of these things that I remember having growing up.

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