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ITALIAN GRAVY FOR PASTA TOMATO SAUCE
(ITALY)
 
In southern Italy one can find a thousand variations of this gravy. It is not used in classic cooking in the northern regions. Make a batch and keep it sealed and refrigerated. It will keep for a good week and one can prepare dozens of dishes with this basic "gravy". 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste 1 qt. Chicken Soup Stock or Basic Brown Soup Stock or use Chicken bouillon 2 c. dry red wine 1/4 c. olive oil 2 yellow onions, peeled and minced 6 lg. garlic cloves, chopped 2 celery stalks, with leaves, minced 1 carrot, grated 1/2 c. chopped parsley 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, chopped (optional) 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 1 tbsp. oregano, crushed 1 tsp. dried rosemary 2 bay leaves 1 tbsp. dried basil or 2 tbsp. fresh 2 whole cloves (optional) 1/2 tbsp. black pepper, freshly ground 2 tbsp. salt, or to taste 1 tsp. sugar 1 lb. pork neck bones or chicken backs and necks

In a large pot, place the tomato puree, tomato paste, chicken or beef stock and the wine. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil. Saute the onions, garlic, celery, and carrot until they just begin to brown a bit. Add to the pot along with all remaining ingredients. Bring to a light boil and then turn to a simmer. Simmer for two hours, partly covered, stirring often. Remove the bones and discard, or make a private lunch of them. Skim the fat from the top and discard. Store in the refrigerator, covered, in either glass, plastic, or stainless steel. It will keep for a week. Use for a pasta topping or for any other dish calling for Italian tomato sauce or "gravy." This freezes well. Makes 3 quarts.

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