Cooking with Stephanie Queen


Don’t go by what Myren, my chauffeur, says about my cooking. I’m no pro, but I have my moments of deliciousness in the kitchen. Especially when I get hungry. Then I can really cook.

I think I got my penchant for cooking and food from my Italian grandmother. She could barely speak English and forget about reading or writing. But she could cook any hoity-toity chef from the best Italian restaurant under the table. I’d put her in any of those TV cooking show competitions and bet my house on her. She was a red-headed spitfire and enjoyed nothing more than cooking for a party of people any time. The main room in her home was the kitchen, second was the dining room. There was no living room or parlor or family room. She didn’t need any room extraneous to cooking and eating.

Myren says it’s about time I got to the cooking and recipe-sharing part of this blog-a-treatise. So here it is. My Grandma’s *heirloom* marinara sauce from the old country–otherwise known as Grandma’s Gravy. Watch me cook it up HERE!

The Recipe


Stephanie Queen’s Recipe for Grandma’s Gravy (aka marinara sauce)


  • 2 28 oz cans Crushed Tomato
  • 1 lg can Tomato Paste
  • 3-4 cloves of Fresh Garlic
  • 4 medium – large bunches of fresh large leaf basil
  • ¼-1 whole Sweet Onion, chopped finely
  • Olive Oil
  • Approx. 1- 1 ½ lbs combined Pork, Sausage and beef (cuts/amounts as preferred, but include some with bone-in)


In large heavy dutch-oven pan, cover the bottom with a generous amount of olive oil and add the meat. Saute on medium heat until lightly brown, turning over 2-3 times. Remove meat from pan and lower heat.

Add chopped onion, chopped garlic and basil. Tear basil before adding. Saute for a few minutes, adding more olive oil. Add tomato paste, stir, saute for a couple of minutes.

Add meat back in. Mix in with tomato paste. Add olive oil and stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Turn heat up to medium and add two cans of crushed tomatoes and one half can of water. Stir this mixture thoroughly.

Cover pan and heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble. Turn heat down and simmer for 2-7 hours, stirring occasionally.

Myren also suggests wearing an apron. Right now he’s hovering with a big spoon and a bowl of spaghetti waiting for the *gravy*. Time to go.

What’s your favorite *heirloom* recipe? Please share!


14 thoughts on “Cooking with Stephanie Queen

  1. Great video, Stephanie! Does the sauce ever look delicious. I made some sauce today and wish I’d read your recipe earlier. Mine is good, too, but I’m betting yours is special because it was your grandmother’s recipe. Kudos!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. My all-time favorite “gravy” is no cook! Seriously! The older I get the more problems I have with tomato sauces that are cooked. I do like them but they don’t always agree with my stomach. But many years ago, I acquired a recipe using fresh tomatoes. It’s great for when the tomatoes are abundant and its too hot to even consider cooking! Or to make on the weekend and serve during the week

    Cut garden-fresh, peeled and seeded tomatoes into small cubes and place in a bowl, drizzle (doesn’t not mean float them) with olive oil, and then add fresh from the garden herbs to taste such as basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley as you would use in any cooked sauce, a dash of salt, and depending on the tomatoes, a pinch or more sugar (doubt I ever used more than a tiny sprinkle), and then I would take a clove or two of garlic flattened (peel and smack it with something hard) and add that. Hubby loved pepperoni so I would add several slices. Put a tight (sealing) lid on it and put it in the refrigerator. (Must refrigerate because of the clove of garlic.) Every time you open the refrigerator give that bowl a shake. After about 2-3 days serve it over noodles. It will be “runny”. Serve over cooked and cooled, or hot spaghetti noodles or pasta of your choice. (I love making noodles from scratch and they are cheap to make!) Serve with a sprinkle of fresh Romano and Parmesan cheeses. May be used as a side dish or the entree. I often made two batches one with meat and one without. And if I didn’t have garlic, I’d used powdered. Remember this is all to-taste and is not the same as regular sauce. My family chowed it down. I’d often dump anything leftover the next day over lettuce and use it as a salad.

    BTW, I loved the video! Spaghetti is one of those comfort foods that we all crave. And in Italy, I’ve only seen spaghetti severed as a side dish! Yet, I’ve never seen spaghetti severed “fresh” but the recipe was from an Italian family. 🙂 Garden fresh anything is good!

    Liked by 3 people

    • E. your non-cook sauce sounds delicious! I’m definitely making this recipe.

      This has nothing to do with sauce, but your recipe reminded me of a dressing I used years ago. When younger, if I gained a pound, the diet began immediately…Such a stickler for weight back then. I’m 5′ 2 1/2″, so if my weight topped 105, I panicked. Not kidding.

      Kitchen sink salads and a homemade dressing were my staples until the weight came off. Vinegar and Oil is a light dressing, but I wanted more flavor. You must like tomato juice to love this dressing and it’s definitely full flavored.

      2 cups V-8 Juice, 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, 2 or 3 roasted and mashed garlic cloves, dash of Tabasco sauce, dash of onion powder, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate, shake well before each use. Use within two weeks.

      You can add or omit whatever you like to spice up the dressing. My version was easy to throw together and one hubby didn’t mind using. 🙂 Most assuredly not my Blue Cheese favorite, but the lower calorie content is worth giving this dressing a try.

      Noodles wouldn’t be on my strict diet, but I think I’ll hunt down my Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta recipe! My diet has loosened up a bit. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love the video accompaniment. My sauce recipe (from my husband’s Italian grandmother) is similar, but with a touch of honey to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sounds fantastic, Stephanie! Sans meat, I’m all over it. Bet it’s fantastic with tomatoes from the garden, when they’re in season, as well. My grandma always added a pinch of sugar to her “sauce”. I’m not sure why, but it always turned out rich and full flavored—never, sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

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