I’m a southern gal without a single Italian bone in my body, but I do love pasta. In fact, Italian food is probably second only to Mexican food on my fave food list. I picked up Grandad’s Gravy simply because I was intrigued by the name. If your southern roots run deep like mine, you probably understand my first thought, which was “Gravy? This is pasta sauce!”
I’m sure my fellow shoppers thought I was fascinated by the nutrition facts on the jar, but instead, I was charmed by the story behind Grandad’s Gravy. A young boy grew up watching his grandfather make his red sauce, which he called “gravy”, for family and friends. His admiration for his grandfather and the family recipe were the inspirations for this family business, carrying on the traditions of good food, but perhaps more significantly, the love of family, the value of a strong work ethic, and the honor associated with always trying to do what is right. I immediately connected with the business owner and namesake of Mauro Mastrapasqua, “Grandad”. His grandfather embodied the same strong character traits as my dad, who was grandfather to eight adoring grandchildren. Although my dad was not known for his cooking skills, he enjoyed food, particularly family meals, more than anyone I know. He worked very hard to take care of his family, he instilled in all of us a desire to do our best, and he didn’t just tell us to do the right thing, he modeled it day in and day out. We’ve missed him terribly since we lost him just a little more than a year ago, yet his legacy is with us every day. It is so easy to understand how the younger Mauro was inspired by his grandfather’s life.
You wouldn’t be reading how much I loved the story behind this company, if we hadn’t also loved Grandad’s Gravy. I have what I consider an acceptable pasta sauce recipe, which takes at least three hours to prepare, and which I make almost never. I have relied on commercial pasta sauces, but have been less than enthused about them because they are generally overly processed and entirely too sweet. I decided to try Grandad’s Gravy at the end of a very long day when I didn’t have much time or energy for meal preparation. I made a very simple meat sauce, starting with a pound of lean ground beef, and about a half cup each of diced onion and green pepper. I opened the jar of pasta sauce while the meat was browning, and was very pleased not to be overwhelmed by the aroma of oregano, and to see evidence of tomatoes not puréed into oblivion. I drained the excess fat from the ground beef, then added the sauce and simmered for about 20 minutes. I was very pleased with the result. This small-batch sauce had a light, fresh taste and was not super-sweet like many national brands. We thoroughly enjoyed it!
Grandad’s Gravy is available on the company’s website, and they even offer a “subscription” option for automatic shipments so your cupboard will never be bare! I think Grandad Mauro would be very proud of his grandson’s success in sharing his gravy.