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


  • 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
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 1 tsp
  • ·
    salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Basic Red Gravy (Marinara)


  1. Heat 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.
  2. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and minced garlic; cook down for about 5 minutes stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
  3. Add wine and beef stock, oregano, basil, granulated garlic & onion, bay leaves, sugar and salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Simmer 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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