As every Italian American cook knows, the basis of a great Sunday dinner in Italian homes is the tomato sauce or gravy as it is lovingly referred to. Our grandmothers from Naples & Sicily both called it gravy. When we were teenagers we questioned why was tomato sauce called gravy as we thought it should be called sauce. I guess it depended on where you grew up and what the custom was for each family. We chose to call it “sauce”. Whether you are making lasagna or spaghetti, a good sauce makes all the difference in the world.
- 2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano whole tomatoes (break up with your hands or an immersion blender)
- 1 lb Italian sweet or hot sausage
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- fresh basil leaves (cook in sauce plus some for garnish)
- Pour 2 tablespoons EVOO in heavy-duty 8-quart pot
- When the oil is hot, add sausage links and brown both sides
- Remove browned sausage links and set aside.
- Add onion and cook until lightly browned and translucent
- Add garlic and stir well for 1 minute
- Add tomatoes, butter, oregano, and a few basil leaves, and the browned sausages.
- Stir well and often to prevent burning on the bottom while simmering for at least 3 hours in order for the sausages to be nice & tender (the longer it cooks the better).
- When done, remove the sausage links that can be saved for a different meal or serve with your favorite pasta dish.
Note: Whenever we have leftover pieces of pork we add them to the pot. If you are making meatballs, add them to the pot during the last 20 minutes of cook time.