For my project, I will be making tomato gravy. Although tomato gravy and tomato sauce share similar ingredients, tomato gravy is simmered with some type of meat such as meatballs, pork necks, sausage, poultry, or braciole (pronounced ‘bra-shol’) and is cooked for several hours giving it a thicker gravy-like consistency. Some of the main ingredients in my recipe is canned tomatoes (both peeled and crushed), tomato paste, garlic, and parmesan cheese (Romano preferred). For as long as long as I can remember, my mother always made tomato gravy on Sundays. My family, and many Italian-American families, calls it "gravy." Don't get this confused with the type of gravy you would put on mashed potatoes — we call that "brown gravy". I could never mistake a Sunday by waking up to the scent of roasted garlic permeating throughout the house. My traditional Sunday morning breakfast consisted of Italian bread dipped in gravy and a meatball or a pork neck. It was a family tradition, from both my parents, to have large dinners with family on Sundays and macaroni with gravy and a side of meat was the staple of the festivities. My family recipe dates back to my great aunt Mary who has passed away before I was born. Since my immediate family moved away when I was young, we couldn't always make it to family functions on Sunday. However, we always celebrated Sundays with gravy. To this day, both my sister and I share the same tradition by making pasta with gravy on Sundays for our families.
Throughout my adult life I encounter many animated debates with my non-Italian friends over the difference of tomato gravy and tomato sauce. Most of the time they were usually satisfied with my family explanation, but after my recent Internet search I discovered the name “tomato gravy” originated from east coast of the United States. Some Italian Americans on the East Coast refer to tomato sauce as "gravy", "tomato gravy", or "Sunday gravy", especially sauces with a large quantity of meat...
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