It’s no secret that Italian-Americans feel strongly about their sauce.  Whether it’s the age-old dispute of sauce vs. gravy or types of tomatoes or meat to use folks usually have a strong opinion.  The Sunday sauce podcast episode is dedicated to demystifying the passion of the sauce.

White bowl with marinara sauce pasta.

If you prefer video, watch the full episode 2 YouTube video version.

When a viewer shared their confusion around the Italian-American passion for sauce, we felt compelled to discuss.

The Sunday sauce podcast episode focuses on all things sauce to help explain what we believe fuels this passion.

The importance of the sauce

Sunday sauce has appeared in pop culture through the years as the stereotypical Italian-American meal.  The Godfather, Goodfellas, The Sopranos, and many others have all depicted scenes of Italian-Americans preparing their sauce, and while each version is different, the one thing that remains constant is the passion!

For many Italian-Americans, sauce is part of their identity.  Their methods may have been passed down from their nonna, while other nonnas have taken their recipe to the grave leaving their descendants to figure things out on their own.

But what actually makes a great sauce? We discuss the types of tomatoes (passata, crushed, whole, D.O.P, etc.), tomato paste, the method of cooking, and also share how we feel about jarred sauce.

As we fleshed out this topic, we came to the realization that the weekly recurrence of Sunday dinner, sauce and bread included, provides a sense of comfort and familiarity, and harkens back to a time when things were simpler. 

And therein lies the passion.

Overhead shot of spaghetti and meatballs in black pan.


If you enjoyed the Sunday sauce podcast episode, leave us a comment below and let us know!

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  1. What about using a slow cooker (crock pot) to do the simmering portion after first sweating/sauteeing the aromatics (oil/onion/tomato paste/wine) in a sautee pan?

    The idea is that the low setting would minimize or eliminate the possibility of scorching/burning with an added benefit of freeing up space on the stove to cook other things.

    I’ve seen plenty of recipes for “slow cooker Sunday Gravy”. I’ve never done it this way but am curious.

  2. I listen after work eating – it is calming and interesting to listen to you two! I love you guys! Thank you for the pod casts!

  3. Somewhere in this podcast or another on Sunday Gravy you mentioned that you didn’t see a can of Progresso tomatoes in the “Clemenza Cooks” scene from The Godfather. If you view the scene again look to Al Pacino’s immediate right as he gets a drink of water from the kitchen faucet. The Progresso can is on the counter. LOL hope this helps!