I lived for 18 years in a town with a large Italian population, and never heard them say it was gravy. What's with the use of the term "gravy" for a tomato-based sauce with meat?
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
My family speaks Italian and said the word gravy can not be translated into Italian therefore it is sauce... My theory is when some Italians came here someone translated the word wrong and it stuck for some.. I like to stick to traditional ways and call it sauce.. It is a Condiment.. Gravy is American for meat and potatoes:O)
I was born in Italy and have traveled to many regions there. I have never heard of ANYONE in Italy calling a tomato based condiment anything that even resembles "gravy". It is "salsa" "sugo" "ragu"...I've even heard of people calling it "brodo di pomadoro" which in translation means tomato soup. I would take any of those terms as long as it is not called "gravy". Please, if you are going to question it, talk to a real Italian...someone who was born and lived there. Some person that was born in "little italy", unless they have lived in ITALY, would have no clue what to really call it. "SAUCE"
How can an Italian know what a word is in English? When an italian-american from the northeast says spaghetti with gravy, he means tomato sauce which may or may not have meat in it. (Most american pasta sauces had meat so i think maybe that's why the term stuck for meat sauce.)
Of COURSE no one in italy calls a tomato sauce anything that sounds like "gravy" - because "gravy" is English and italians speak Italian!
There is also nothing that sounds like the word "eggplant" in italian - they say melanzana. So? if i want to make eggplant parmesan, is that not an italian dish and is it not melanzane alla parmigiana?
I don't get it
The older Sicilians who arrived in New York on Ellis Island and some who still live in the old neighborhoods still refer to it as GRAVY. and if you hung out with the guys from Brooklyn or Queens they would invite you over for "Sunday Familia Dinner" where grandma made the gravy that she started to cook the day before. Marinara on the other hand is a quick sauce concoction that was started when the men signaled the woman on shore, with raised flags on their boats that they had a catch and were coming in.