I proudly told my first boyfriend back in the day that I loved to eat Chef Boyardee raviolis. Wrong statement to make when you are talking to a 100% Italian. He was horrified to say the least and insisted I come over for some real cooking. So, I went over for Sunday dinner.
While the pasta was cooking, his mom kept talking about the gravy. I was grossed out. I was, and still am a very picky eater. I had no idea that a step up from my canned raviolis was gravy on pasta. Who eats gravy on pasta???? This family was out of their mind and I had no idea how I was going to pull off eating that stuff.
Later that night much to my amazement (and relief!), I learned “gravy” is the tomato sauce and that’s what a lot of people refer to tomato sauce as. That dinner and so many others “with gravy” were amazing whenever I ate there. It changed my whole view on Italian eating. I needed to have good sauce…all of the time!
In New York where I grew up, you can pretty much go anywhere for a good Italian meal. Hubby and I did okay when we traveled to Italy too.
Living in North Carolina? Not so much. We have been here for 10 years now and have yet to find a place that is a total hit with sauce. I had to take matters into my own hands.
It wasn’t a big deal at first. I called on the experts.
My mom tried to teach me how to make her homemade sauce one time when she visited. She did well explaining things for the first minute and then after that, well she went way too fast. I kind of think she forgot I was there.
Her best friend, Mary, lived here and she could cook! When we went to her house, there was always eggplant parmigiana or baked ziti waiting for me. Mary made her sauce from scratch. Then she got it in her head to move to Arizona to be closer to the grandchildren. No more good sauce for us. I hope she feels just a tiny bit guilty when she reads this.
My friend, Kim has to be one of the best sauce makers I have met. She lives here in NC and she gave me her recipe! I was so excited to make this. It came out good but not as good as hers! Not even close except that one time it was but I think that was a fluke. We won’t even talk about the meatballs I tried to make that she is the master at.
So what to do….
I hit pinterest. I kept looking over recipes and choosing a few. I even tried out some. It was just never as good as it used to be. One even ended up in us calling for a pizza delivery.
After all was said and done, we decided that it was just cheaper to book a flight to New York or Arizona. Watch out Kim…we may show up at your door with supplies.
Pass the gravy, please.
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