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Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Giada De Laurentiis's Homemade Italian Sauce

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson


Frugal Celebrities Recipes

Popular and sexy Food Network TV chef Giada De Laurentiis is extremely talented in the kitchen — an instinctive cook — and the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis. She began her professional training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and has held positions as a food magazine stylist for upscale magazines like Food & Wine, and cooked at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Fine Dining Room and Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills.

Later, Giada founded GDL Foods, a catering company in Los Angeles. She has hosted several popular Food Network cable programs, including Everything Italian and Giada's Weekend Getaways. Spokesperson for Barilla, the world's largest producer and manufacturer of pasta. She has been a recurring guest chef on the Today Show.

Her first cookbook, Everyday Italian, showcased many of the delicious Italian recipes from her cooking show of the same name; her second cookbook, Giada's Family Dinners, quickly became a #1 New York Times best-seller, as did her third cookbook, Everyday Pasta.

This is Giada's recipe for authentic, homemade Italian sauce (often called "gravy" by Italian-Americans).

The ingredients are inexpensive and make a delicious batch of sauce. The ease of making your own Italian sauce should prompt many to no longer buy canned or bottled sauce, and go the more frugal and low-sodium route with homemade.

Leftover sauce can be frozen. After making Guida's sauce, you may feel creative and want to experiment using additional herbs and spices.


Giada De Laurentiis's Homemade Italian Sauce


In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper.

Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 2 quarts.



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Source: Esquire, "Giada De Laurentiis Loves Tomatoes," (, July 19, 2007.