Red Sauce (Italian Gravy)


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 28oz cans peeled roma tomatoes (buy the highest quality you can)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 sprigs each thyme and oregano
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. In a very large heavy bottomed pan (think enameled cast iron), melt butter over medium heat. Add olive oil, heat until shimmering. Add carrots, celery, and onions, cooking until onions become translucent and carrots are tender. Add garlic; cook until aromatic.
  2. Meanwhile, pour tomatoes into a large bowl. Using your hands, crush them well โ€“ don't break them up entirely, but turn them into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add a splash of red wine to deglaze pan, scraping up all fond from the bottom. Add tomatoes, along with salt, pepper, and herbs. Add remaining wine. Reduce heat to the lowest possible simmer โ€“ you want to only see a bubble every now and then. Move pot to your smallest burner if necessary.
  4. Allow sauce to simmer for at least 4 hours, partially covered. After 4 hours, taste for seasoning. Add vinegar and sugar if necessary. Remove herb stems.
  5. Sauce can be cooled and frozen for up to 1 year. Use on pastas, in calzones, or on pizzas.