Old School Italian Gravy

white serving bowl with italian gravy for pasta in it

5 from 2 reviews

Rich and delicious, this Old School Italian Gravy is a perfectly crafted sauce that is simmered all day and is great for any Italian dish!


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium beef bone
  • 1/2 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 (6 oz can) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine (approximately 1/2 of a bottle)
  • 2 quarts beef or vegetable broth
  • 2 (28 oz cans) San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 (28 oz cans) San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (28 oz cans) San Marzano tomato puree
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat and add in olive oil. Once the the olive oil begins to shimmer, add in the beef bone and cook till browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in chopped onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions become translucent and start to brown.
  3. Add in garlic, herbs and tomato paste and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pot by pouring in the red wine and scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any bits stuck to it.
  5. Add in beef broth as well as all of the tomatoes (whole, crushed and puree) and stir to thoroughly combine. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  6. Continue to simmer sauce for a minimum of 1 hour, but 4-6 hours is preferred. Make sure to stir the sauce every 30 minutes or so to make sure everything is combined and nothing burns.
  7. Once the sauce has been cooked down, remove the beef bone and season with salt and pepper, if needed. The sauce can then be used immediately or cooled completely to be frozen or canned. For a smoother texture, use an immersion blender to blend to the desired consistency.



  • Beef Bones - Omit if you are vegetarian/vegan or if you cannot find them.
  • Beef Broth - Use vegetable broth to make this recipe vegetarian/vegan.
  • San Marzano Tomatoes - If you can’t locate these, regular canned tomatoes can be used.
  • Wine - You can substitute this with extra broth if you don’t like to cook with wine or don’t have any on hand.

Recipe Yields 4-6 quarts of sauce, depending on how much the sauce is reduced.


Keywords: italian, pasta, sauce, gluten free