You say tomato and I say tomahto, thus goes the story of gravy vs. sauce. This has been a long debated issue which I will try to address with this blog, and maybe try to put to rest. The reason for my family calling it gravy is all about the region, as well as the fact that, the tomato sauce becomes gravy when the meat drippings themselves becomes the very base for the gravy. At this point its all up to the cook of course and how they feel about this explanation.
I grew up as a child on Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island on a street lined with three tenement houses and large porches. The ritual on Sunday mornings was always the same, Church and then home to make homemade meatballs and gravy. My Nonna (Grandmother) would be the one to cook, what are now these valued memories. The smell of her gravy would spread throughout the house and into the stairwells of these beautiful old homes as well as surrounding outside area. It was a sweet smell of the freshest herbs and ingredients. The gravy was thick and red, and the white pan on the stove held the gravy and all its riches. The meatballs, sausage, and beef braciole stuffed and rolled like a Jelly role just added to the flavor of this gravy. The meatballs rolled and then fried in the old heavy fry pan, that came out every Sunday for this special meal. Nonna never measured, she just added a touch of this and a little of that, and yet it was always great, always perfect. Now when I cook my gravy and meatballs, the the aroma reminds me of these days on the Hill and my Nonna cooking those wonderful meals. Thank you to my Nonna for showing me the way!