A cherished family heirloom, this tomato sauce recipe has been passed down through generations, carrying with it the essence of tradition and the flavors of simplicity. With just a handful of carefully selected ingredients, you can create a tomato sauce that is rich in both taste and history.

Mrs. Laguda's Tomato "Gravy" Recipe

Mrs. Laguda from Ambler, PA
We are excited to share this family tomato sauce recipe from a community member!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 1 hour
Course Ingredient
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 25 plum tomatoes (chopped into 1/2" cubes)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped into 1/4" pieces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme


  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and garlic and cook down, stirring occasionally for 2-3 hours or until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.
  • Take sauce off heat and immediately add basil, salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, & thyme.
  • Stir and let sit for at least 1 hour before serving, ideally over night.


Note: feel free to scale this recipe according to the amount of tomatoes you have.
Because you do not peel or blanch the tomatoes beforehand, there will be some pieces of tomato skin in the final sauce. If you prefer a smoother texture, use an immersion or stand blender to process the cooled sauce in batches.
This family recipe was submitted by Mrs. Laguda, a community member from Laguda Tailors in Ambler, PA. Her “gravy” is praised by clients, friends, and family alike for its simple yet impactful flavor! We are excited to share it with you today.

Do you have a recipe that you’d like to share with our community? Click here to share your recipe now!