Basic Red Gravy (Marinara)

Donna Graffagnino


This easy to make marinara sauce can be used for a number of recipes. Add meatballs, ground beef & pork, Italian sausage, chicken, shrimp, or anything else you like with red gravy. This is a traditional Italian
recipe passed down for generations. The flavors become
more intense when it sits in the refrigerator a day or two then served as leftovers.

☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes
15 Min
3 Hr
Stove Top


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1 Tbsp
bacon grease
1 Tbsp
olive oil, or 2 tbsp if you are not using bacon grease
2 medium
onions, chopped fine
1/2 bunch
green onions, sliced thin
1/2 c
bell pepper, chopped fine
1 small
(6 oz) can tomato paste
1 medium
(15 oz) can diced tomatoes & (8 oz) tomato sauce **or** (15 oz) tomato sauce
2-3 Tbsp
garlic, minced
3 c
beef broth
1/4 - 1/2 c
red wine
2 tsp
oregano, dried
1 Tbsp
dried basil
1 Tbsp
granulated onion
1 Tbsp
granulated garlic
bay leaves
1 tsp
salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Basic Red Gravy (Marinara)


  • 1Heat the bacon grease or olive oil in a Dutch oven, over medium heat and add chopped onions, green onions, and bell pepper and saute on low until onions are transparent but don't let them brown.
  • 2Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and minced garlic; cook down for about 5 minutes stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
  • 3Add wine and beef stock, oregano, basil, granulated garlic & onion, bay leaves, sugar and salt & pepper to taste.
  • 4Simmer stock for about 30-45 minutes, adding more beef stock as needed to keep sauce fairly thin. Cover with a splatter screen or off-set the lid so steam can escape without splattering sauce all over the kitchen; cook for 2-3 hours or until desired thickness is reached. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

    Serve over pasta or add your favorite meat to red gravy. Buono Appetito!
  • 5*Options: ,I don't use carrots but if you like them add 2 finely chopped carrots to the onions and bell pepper if desired - it adds to the sweetness.

    If you like just a little heat in your red sauce then add crushed red pepper flakes to taste when adding tomato paste & sauce.

Printable Recipe Card

About Basic Red Gravy (Marinara)

Course/Dish: Pasta, Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian

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