Growing up, this sauce was fondly referred to as “Marcy Sauce” because Marcy, aka Mercedes McIntyre Artiga, used it to enhance a number of her dishes.  It was always served over sliced beef tongue; however, it can be used with shrimp or chicken, etc.  Marcy never put white wine in it but I think it makes it taste good.  Betty, Joanie Zandona's mother, always said that if the tomatoes are bitter, to add a pinch of sugar. 

“Marcy Sauce”


½ yellow onion

1 can diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes with skin taken off)

1 clove of garlic

2 tsp. oregano

1 tbs. red wine or apple cider vinegar (I use white wine)

1-2 tbs. olive oil

½ to 1 tsp. salt


Pinch of sugar if needed



Finely chop onion and garlic.  Heat pan, add oil and sauté onion and garlic.  Add oregano and stir into onions.  After a minute, empty diced tomatoes and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.   Add vinegar or wine and mix in.  Bring to a boil then immediately turn down flame to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 20-30 minutes until tomatoes are soft and some of the liquid has evaporated stirring occasionally.  The recipe can easily be doubled.


Thank you, Joanie, for sharing your grandmother's sauce.