Settle an argument about pasta and sauce

My husband and I have disagreed for years.  Which one is correct?

1.  Plate the plain, unsauced pasta, then ladle the sauce on top of each serving.

2. Mix cooked pasta and sauce thoroughly in the pot.  


Thank you!!


neither

lightly sauce in the pot ( serving bowl)

plate

add more sauce ( gravy)


Depends on the sauce, but in general sauce on the stove.  Sometimes it's a pot sometimes in a saucepan or skillet.  Only exceptions are basil pesto which should not be cooked, and red sauces like gravy or marinara, which can wither be done on the stove or half and half like oots said.


oots said:

neither

lightly sauce in the pot ( serving bowl)

plate

add more sauce ( gravy)

 Well, this might be a good compromise.  


max_weisenfeld said:

Depends on the sauce, but in general sauce on the stove.  Sometimes it's a pot sometimes in a saucepan or skillet.  Only exceptions are basil pesto which should not be cooked, and red sauces like gravy or marinara, which can wither be done on the stove or half and half like oots said.

 I should have been more specific.  I was talking about red marinara sauce and red meat sauce. I never put pesto on the stove.


We plate the pasta, then add the sauce.

It ain't gravy. 


mrincredible said:

It ain't gravy. 

It is in South Philly


DaveSchmidt said:

It is in South Philly

 *looks around*

We're not in South Philly.


Call me cosmopolitan.

Just don’t call me late for macaroni.


First heard "gravy" for "red sauce" when we moved to Maplewood (1990ish), so maybe not just South Philly.  It was very confusing. : )


mrincredible said:

We plate the pasta, then add the sauce.

It ain't gravy. 

 OK, what do you mean by this? What is gravy, other than the brown gravy that I pour on my turkey?  


shoshannah said:

What is gravy, other than the brown gravy that I pour on my turkey?

You didn’t hear it from me, because as Mr. I. noted we’re 90 miles from Tenth and Catharine, but if you click on the words South Philly in my earlier comment, there’s some good stuff.


shoshannah said:

mrincredible said:

We plate the pasta, then add the sauce.

It ain't gravy. 

 OK, what do you mean by this? What is gravy, other than the brown gravy that I pour on my turkey?  

some people call tomato sauce gravy. they are wrong.

as for saucing, I defy anyone, in a blind taste test, to tell the difference between saucing in the pan and saucing in the bowl. IMO, it's just a foodie thing.


Some poor misguided souls refer to red pasta sauce as "gravy". It's a travesty.  tongue rolleye


DaveSchmidt said:

mrincredible said:

It ain't gravy. 

It is in South Philly

 And Trenton.


My general observation is that "gravy" is the term used by people with Sicilian heritage - who can be found in South Philly, Trenton, etc.  It's a term I did not hear until we moved to the East Coast.  In my experience, people from Northern Italy do not use the term "gravy"


FilmCarp said:

 And Trenton.

Trenton Stirs, the World Purrs. 


FilmCarp said:

 And Trenton.

And also in Brooklyn.  If your family is originally from Sicily, a red meat based sauce is called gravy.  


I lived in Queen's Village for a summer about 20 years ago (I think near 6th and Catharine). Not long enough to get into the debate.


It's gravy in NJ.

When I was in school in Virginia, early '80's, my Dad (grew up in the Italian part of Hackensack, his Sicilian grandmother did the cooking) came down for a visit.  We went to the local Italian restaurant.

My Dad asked about one of the pasta dishes, and asked, "Is that with gravy?"

The waitress said, "No, tomato sauce."


Apparently NJ is a hotbed of gravy confusion. I grew up in NY, so we knew better.


In Italy, the word for sauce is an Italian word.

ETA: Google Translate translates both sauce and gravy as "salsa" in Italian.  So they don't have this argument.


Some months ago I recall reading what was supposed to be the definitive article about gravy vs. sauce, maybe in the Ledger. And I think the bottom line is that it’s all legends and opinions and family lore and no one really seems to know why some call it by one name and some by another. 


OK, people!  Getting off topic!  So, which is it? Ladle the sauce over each serving on the plate? Or mix it into the pasta in the pot or pan?  Which is the better way for taste?


Mix sauce into the pasta in the pan (after pasta is done, strained and returned to pan), serve on warmed plate, then top it off with a bit more sauce.


dave said:

Mix sauce into the pasta in the pan (after pasta is done, strained and returned to pan), serve on warmed plate, then top it off with a bit more sauce.

 No. This is incorrect, you monster.


There are lots of things, which have local names that are near incomprehensible to outsiders (soda/pop/tonic, Taylor Ham/pork roll, etc.).  I would put the sauce vs gravy debate into this category.

However, if you go to the food industry, then gravy is clearly made from drippings/juices, and anything else is a sauce - whether it be tomato, Hollandaise/Bernaise or whatever.


shoshannah said:

OK, people!  Getting ff topic!  So, which is it? Ladle the sauce over each serving on the plate? Or mix it into the pasta in the pot or pan?  Which is the better way for taste?

it makes no difference for taste. It only makes a difference in whether you think you're a high sophisticate in the art of pasta saucing.


I'm with drummerboy. It all ends up in the stomach after all.

And after all- we're talking about spaghetti here. Spaghetti is food of the proletariat. I mean that in a 100% positive way. It is basic daily fare, not high art. So serve it the way you like it. I am all about spending $ on good ingredients so that the taste is right, even for (especially for?) basic daily food, but presentation is for fancy food.

Now if you're making some kind of high-falutin' spaghetti for a dinner party, and/or your Sicilian nonna is coming to dinner - well then I suppose you should do what you need to do to impress your guests or avoid having nonna roll her eyeballs at her hapless American grandchild.

To my knowledge I have no Italian ancestry, so don't know if my vote counts. 


if you say "gravy" then you have to say "mutzarelle" and "prozhute.  Not Mozzarella and Prosciutto.



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