65. Pastabilities

I saw a sign a few weeks ago in a South Philly bakery for an upcoming Red Gravy Cook-Off to benefit the East Passyunk Community Organization. “We’re in,” I said to Ben, my good sport husband. And sure enough, two weeks later, we were there, with our friends Nanette and Rick.

The event was held in the cafeteria at a Neumann-Goretti Catholic High School, with eight anonymous contestants bringing four gallons each of their specialty “gravy,” or sauce, as we would call it at my house. Some had meatballs; some had seafood; all were delicious. We were given scratch pads to jot down notes and ballots to enter our favorite. There was also a judging panel of local politicians and personalities. Soon enough, a winner was announced — a nice young man won both the “people’s choice” and the judges’ prize. He made sure to credit the women in his life — his wife, his mother and his nonna, whose recipe he used — who all came up with him to receive the trophy. Everyone in his crew was so delighted that they couldn’t help but dance.

2 thoughts on “65. Pastabilities

  1. So, nu, what made the winner’s gravy so special? How did the entrants’ vary, in strength, seasoning, texture?


    1. Frankly, we lost track of which was which, so by the time the winner was announced, we had no idea whether we liked his or not. The main difference was between the ones with protein – meatballs, seafood, brisket – vs. those that were just tomato sauce. Oh excuse me, gravy.


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