Old School Italian Gravy

Rich and delicious old school Italian gravy that is the perfect sauce for pasta, pizza or any other Italian dish!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Medium sized 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
  • 4 quarts beef 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 with the olive oil. Once the pan is hot and olive oil begins to shimmer, add in the beef bone. Cook the beef bone, making sure to turn it every couple minutes, for about 5 minutes total, until it is browned on all sides.
  2. Add in the chopped onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent and starts to brown. Once onions starts to brown, stir in the minced garlic and dried herbs and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes or just until you just start to smell the garlic and herbs.
  3. Now you will add in your tomato paste and stir to combine. You will then use your red wine to deglaze the pot. To deglaze the pot, simply pour in the red wine in with the onion, herb & tomato mixture and scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon to get all the brown bits loose.
  4. At this point you will now add in all your beef broth as well as all the tomatoes (whole, crushed and puree) and stir to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  5. Once all the ingredients are combine, lower to medium low heat. Simmer the sauce for a minimum of 1 hour, but 4-6 hours is preferred. Make sure you stir the sauce every 30 minutes or so to make sure the flavors are all cooking together.
  6. Once your have cooked your sauce completely, you have the option to leave it the way it is, or to blend it so it is a little smoother. The longer you simmer the sauce, the further those whole tomatoes will break down, so it’s just a matter of preference. An immersion blender comes in handy at this point to blend the sauce while still in the pot. I will typically blend it about half way, so there are still some chunks of tomato in it. Before you blend or use the sauce, make sure you remove the beef bone and discard.
  7. After the desired consistency is achieved, test for flavor and add in salt and pepper as needed. You can then serve the sauce as is or put in the fridge to cool completely before putting into smaller containers for freezing.

Recipe Notes

If you do not have an immersion blender, a standard blender can be used to blend the sauce. Make sure you cool the sauce and work in small batches to avoid a big mess!