Sauce or Gravy?

by jerseygirl on May 20, 2008 · 6 comments

I am happy to say that Prudy from Prudence Pennywise has given my blog the Arte y Pico Award. It means a lot to me, especially coming from a girl who has a fabulous blog and is also an award winning cook. Reading her blog makes me smile everyday. What fun it will be to pass on the award in my next post.

Today was another cold, rainy day. After taking my son and his friend to see Speed Racer, I decided I needed to make a good comfort food dinner. Spaghetti and meatballs seemed to fit the bill. Luckily I had a huge container of frozen gravy in the freezer. Gravy? With spaghetti and meatballs? Yes. Being from a part Italian family, on Sunday we always had gravy with our pasta. My husband always refers to gravy as the brown kind, served with pot roast and mashed potatoes but to me that is brown gravy. This is another great food debate that depends on your ethnic background and where you grew up. My roommate from college grew up in an all Italian town and also had Sunday gravy. If you go to places like South Philadelphia, any Italian restaurant will have gravy on their menu.

So I was happy to have my slow cooked gravy already cooked. I have to admit I am a marinara snob. I rarely use sauce from a jar. There is nothing wrong with sauce out of a jar but it is so easy to freeze so I always make a huge pot and have plenty for later. One of these days, I will write down what I actually put in my gravy. It seemes to be different all the time. I make a vegetarian version, a bolognese version and gravy with different meats which simmer in it. Sometimes I use fresh tomatoes while other times I’ll use canned, crushed tomatoes and puree. I throw in whatever herbs I have in my fridge. Or if I’m lucky, there will be some fresh herbs out of my garden. I have no idea what’s in the gravy we had for dinner tonight.

These meatballs came out good especially for a lighter version. I find that turkey can be just as flavorful if you add the right herbs and spices. Pair it with some whole wheat spaghetti and you have one healthy meal. Now don’t get me wrong about meatballs. If you’re in the mood for the full fat, beefy, heart clogging ones, I have a better recipe. You have to try Grandma Maronis 100 Year Old Meatball Recipe. These are the best meatballs I have ever made. They come from the Food Network’s , Throwdown with Bobby Flay. They are moist, light and full of herbs and cheese. As much as I love them, with bathing suit season right around the corner, these turkey meatballs taste pretty damn good!

Herbed Turkey Meatballs

1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 small onion, grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape into 2 inch balls. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place meatballs on sheet and broil in oven for about 20 minutes, turning once during cooking. Simmer in your favorite sauce (or gravy!) and serve with bread or pasta.

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EAT! May 20, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Don’t you just love when you fnd something in the freezer that can make dinnertime easier? Your spaghetti and meatballs look prefect for the chill, wet weather.

Prudy May 21, 2008 at 11:39 am

I love that you call it “gravy.” In the west, on the true Italians call it gravy-everyone else calls it spaghetti sauce, or red sauce, or marinara. I want those meatballs-swimsuits be darned!
Thanks also for your kind comments:)

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen May 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm

I love popping stuff out of the freezer and dinner is ready in minutes!

I am Italian too, and I have just recently heard that people call it gravy, but we never did in our family. I guess it is a regional US thing? We always just called it sauce. Whatever it is, yours looks great!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!:)

Anonymous May 22, 2008 at 3:22 pm

I always understood a gravy to be made with meat. My spaghetti gravy is always flavored with pork or beef. A sauce is meatless, like marinara or bechamel. I’ve gotten into the same argument from my husband, he’s from Georgia I’m from Jersey.

Lisa May 22, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Eat & Jen,
Yes, freezer meals are the best!

Those darn swimsuits!

Funny how different parts of the country call things differently.

bagel May 23, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I never called it gravy before but ever since I got into the Sopranos many years ago, I’ve been calling it gravy since that’s what Artie Bucco called it. Everyone else just thinks I’m crazy.

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