Old Style Italian Gravy Recipe

There’s nothing like an Italian grandma’s homemade Italian Gravy. This recipe has been perfected over the years by three generations and I am sure you will be amazed when you cook this for your family. The best part of cooking this gravy is the aroma throughout the house. You will get hungry, but the wait is well worth it!

Italian Gravy Recipe

Italian Gravy Recipe

Pasta and Gravy

Pasta and Gravy


  • 2 – 28 Oz cans of Crushed Tomatoes (I prefer Contadina for all sauces)
  • 1 – 28 Oz can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 Oz can of Tomato Puree
  • 1 – 6 Oz can of Tomato Paste
  • 4 medium to large pieces of beef short ribs
  • 4 medium pieces of pork ribs
  • 6 hot or mild Italian Sausage
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped fine
  • 6 Large Garlic Cloves sliced very thin
  • 1 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • 1/8 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • Olive Oil to lightly brown the garlic
  • To add meatballs, please see our meatball recipe. You can prep the meatballs while the gravy is cooking, because you do not add the meatballs until the last 30 minutes before the gravy is done.


  • Add Crushed Tomatoes into a large pot.
  • Blend Whole Peeled Tomatoes add to pot.
  • Add Tomato Puree into pot.
  • Add 1 tbsp of fresh parsley.
  • Add 1/8 cup of fresh basil.
  • Add 1 tbsp of fresh oregano.
  • Add 1 tsp of black pepper.
  • Set flame to medium until gravy begins to bubble than lower flame to a simmer.
  • Stir gravy every 10 minutes.
  • In a separate frying pan, brown the beef short ribs, pork ribs and sausage.
  • Add each meat group when done into the gravy.
  • In a separate frying pan add olive oil to cook the garlic and onion. Cook the garlic and onion until it’s slightly brown.
  • Add garlic to gravy.
  • In the same frying pan add the Tomato paste and fry it for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste to gravy.
  • Cover the gravy with the top of the pot leaving a very small opening for moisture to escape.
  • Stir the gravy every 10 minutes and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Make sure the flame is very low.
  • Add meatballs 30 minutes before the gravy is done.

You can serve this with any type of pasta.

This gravy recipe serves 6 to 8 people, but you will have plenty of leftover gravy to cook it a couple of more times. It’s best to freeze leftover gravy and place it in the refrigerator the evening before you’re going to cook it again. When you are cooking the leftover gravy, let it simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.


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  1. I’ve been waiting for this! I made your meatballs last week and my guys LOVED them. But this is going to totally transform the way they think about eating at home. 😉

    • Christie,

      This is an old family recipe that has been perfected over the years. You and the boys will be amazed and don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. It takes a while to prep and cook, but you will have plenty of leftovers to eat it again. BTW – This is Frank’s recipe over at TechJaws.com

  2. Hi Victoria.
    I eat at an Italian restaurant before and the gravvy is really amazing. I had been searching for a recipes since that delicious dinner. Will try your recipe when I had time. thanks.

  3. Absolutely Delicioso!

  4. What type of pork rib? spare? country style?

  5. I tried this it was fantastic…swapped out the ribs for pork neck bones (a woman in the supermarket figured out I was making sauce when she looked in my cart and recommended it). The beef ribs add flavor to the sauce but were largely tasteless, the pork neck bones were fantastic.

  6. Is it possible to make the gravy with out all that meat? And just use more Italian sausage?

  7. Why do you fry the purée ? Maybe it takes the bitterness out?

  8. Staci Franklin says:

    My family makes this traditional dish. We put boiled eggs, meatballs and beef shorts in the gravvy. So delicous and bri gs back so many memories. We make ours in a crock pot which allows for more freedom when cooking and it is just as good if not better!

  9. I can’t wait to make this..but I am surprised to see that there are no onions in it. I’ve always put onions in my spaghetti sauce, but if it’s great without them I will try it your way! Is there any reason you don’t put onions in your sauce?

    Thanks so much!

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