The Most Delicious Red Gravy by Francesco DiMartino (Just Desserts/I Choose You/Just Roll With It)

Francesco DiMartino is the matriarch of the DiMartino family. She helps her husband run their family restaurant, she raised two daughters, two sons, and a granddaughter, none of her kids can get anything past her . . . and she’s a fabulous cook.

This is the red gravy she makes every Sunday. It’s also served at Cucino Felice. Enjoy.

1.5 pounds beef cubes

3 tbs olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 24 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 10 oz can tomato paste

2 tsp basil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 small can tomato sauce

To a large stockpot over medium heat add the oil and the garlic. Saute for a few minutes being careful not to burn. Add the beef cubes and cook until brown. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, and then fill the empty tomato paste can with water and add it to the pot as well. Add the spices. Cook over low heat for at least an hour (the longer, the better!). Add the tomato sauce and continue to cook for several hours (making it the day before is even better!). 

Serve with your favorite pasta (Francesca always recommends rigatoni), freshly grated parmesan cheese, and a salad (butter lettuce, tomatoes from the garden, and oil and balsamic vinegar). Oh, and crusty Italian bread is a definite bonus!

Peace, love and romance~

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