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Readers Respond: What do you call the stuff that goes over pasta?

Responses: 106

By

Gravy

Much of my life was spent on Federal Hill in Providence RI. I have always heard it called gravy. And, that is what I call it today.
—Guest J.H.R

Sauce

I am fairly certain that it is called sauce vs gravy depending on which part of USA your families settled in as opposed to which part of Italy they came from. My grandparents were from Northern Italy and settled in SW PA. I have never heard GRAVY. It seems gravy is used in Jersey and Philly. I wish all of those calling it GRAVY would tell us where they grew up in the USA.
—Guest Sharon

Sauce, Gravy

Everyone in my family - parents, aunts, uncles, cousins... called it gravy
—Guest JMark

Sauce or Gravy

To bambulady54: Show me one can of "gravy" in the sauce aisle of the store that is "red". Next time you are there, take a good look at all the tomatoe products and you will never see the word gravy on any of them. Someone way back somewhere, referred to sauce, mistakenly,as gravy and from there it was passed on.
—Sicilianstuff

Sauce or Gravy?

Shocked.Never heard it called gravy, which it is not. "Sauce" has many forms: Marinara (many kinds) or meat sauce (any meat product).The only other name I remember, which I can't spell is "suga", which was with meat.Could the "gravy" word have come from a poor translation again? Sauce not gravy.
—Sicilianstuff

Sauce, Gravy?

I'm Swedish, so what do I know? Have always called it sauce, but I have heard it referred to as gravhy, not as often as sauce.
—Guest Ruthstew

sauce or gravy

100% Italian here! When meat is used in a sauce, it becomes gravy. When meat is not used, it remains a sauce. Don't know why that is so difficult for some people to understand. This confusion has been around for years.
—AngelaElizabeth

sauce or gravey

Should be sauce or in Genovese we sometimes call it Tuco
—Guest Edwardo

sauce or gravy

sauce,gravy is the brown stuff you put on mashed potatoes
—Guest petsaverannette

its sauce never gravy

the stuff that goes over pasta is SAUCE do you make bolognese sauce or bolognese gravy, is it ragu sauce or ragu gravy, clam sauce or clam gravy, putanessca sauce or putanessca gravy, alfredo sauce or alfredo gravy, carbonara sauce or carbonara gravy its a no brainer its SAUCE
—bambulady54

its sauce

I make my own tomatoes for sauce every August but when you go to the store do you buy a can or jar of tomato sauce or tomato gravy.
—bambulady54

mrs.

SAUCE AND PLEASE, SPARE ME "GRAVY".It can be basic tomato, seafood, i.e., clams, shrimp, vegtables, etc.
—Guest ljfuzy

A serious cook.

Both. As a child it was always gravy. Now, 70+ years later and after years of cooking sometimes sauce.
—Guest peter

Sauce V Gravy

I'm 100% Italian and grew up in Western Ma. My grandparents were all from Italy. We always called it sauce! First time I heard somebody call it gravy was an inlaw from New Jersey and then during a Soprano episode. I'd guess it is regional based on the above.
—Colombo777

GRAVY

I THINK THE "STUFF" THAT GOES OVER PASTA IS "GRAVY." AND I THINK THIS IS A REGIONAL THING.I'M FROM PHILLY AND EVERYONE THERE AND IN SOUTH JERSEY SAYS "GRAVY" TOO. EITHER WAY..MAKE IT GOOD AND IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU CALL IT....IT CALLS YOU TO THE TABLE.
—Guest phillyliv

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