Mama Del Monte’s Marinara Sauce (or Gravy)

I am Irish, through and through.  Heck, my maiden name is FLYNN.   But, I had the good sense to marry an Italian, so now we have the best of both worlds. AND  I got an Italian mother-in-law as part of the bargain.  She’s an incredible cook and recently she shared with me her sauce, or “gravy” as she calls it.    I have permission to share Mama Del Monte’s Marinara Sauce recipe with you.  (sure it took me 15 years to get the recipe and I get to share with YOU the first time I ask!)

No more jarred sauce!  Make up a batch of this and freeze what you don’t eat for later.  Making it yourself means you can control what you put in it.


Mama Del Monte’s Sauce (or Gravy)


  • EV olive oil
  • 5 or 6 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 peeled large onion
  • 3 28 ounce cans of tomato puree
  • 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 8 baby carrots
  • garlic salt
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • basil
  • parsley
  • water


  1. Get a large sauce and cover bottom with EVOO.
  2. Saute whole onion and garlic cloves to flavor oil.
  3. Add tomato puree, but after adding each can fill with equal amount of water and put each time into puree mix. Once all puree and water are added put in tomato paste and equal water.
  4. Next, add about 4 tablespoons of sugar, the celery and carrots.
  5. Make sure to stir and that paste is not in one lump.
  6. Sprinkle the entire top once with garlic salt, then the onion powder and the garlic powder.
  7. Add fresh and or dry basil and parsley.
  8. Stir in.
  9. Simmer sauce for 3 hours, uncovered.
  10. If you add meatballs and sausage, also cook uncovered as the steam will break up your meatballs.

I use it for pizza, for pasta, to make lasagna,  and all kind of dishes.  Enjoy!

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