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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Favorite Recipe

Close-up of a bowl of spaghetti

My favorite recipe is my mother’s sauce! I’ve seen her make it so many times that I can make it in my sleep. (Sorry, I never measure.)


· a 16-quart saucepan (the bigger the better -- I’ve moved up to the 20-quart pan)
· a wooden spoon
· a kitchen full of children (optional)

  • olive oil
  • garlic (the more the better)
  • peppers and onions (optional)
  • 4-5 28-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 4-5 28-ounce cans tomato puree
  • 1-2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • Italian spices (basil, oregano -- the fresher the better)
  • 3-4 lbs ground meat
  • Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2-3 eggs
  • parsley
  • 5-7 links Italian sausage, both hot and mild (I cut them in small pieces after they cook)
10 Steps to perfection:

1. Wash your hands.
2. Make someone else (preferably over the age of 18) open all the cans of sauce.
3. Sautee garlic, onions, and peppers in a liberal amount of olive oil. Don’t burn the garlic!
4. Dump the cans of sauce, puree, and crushed tomatoes into the sauce pan (with the olive oil).
5. Add plenty of water (at least 3-4 empty cans) so the sauce doesn’t burn as it cooks.
6. Make and roll your meatballs (ground meat, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, and more garlic and Italian spices).
7. Drop the raw meatballs one by one, into the sauce pan.
8. Drop the raw Italian sausage into the sauce pan (if you’re on a diet, boil the fat out first).
9. Add Italian spices.
10. Stir occasionally and cook all day on low (the longer the better -- at least 6 hours).

A couple of hints (aka lessons I learned the hard way):
  • Don’t burn the sauce -- put it on the simmer burner, and if it sticks to the bottom of the pan, add water.
  • If the meatballs are too mushy, add more bread crumbs. If the meatballs are too hard, add an egg (or some water).
  • The best “job” for kids is making meatballs. Just make sure they wash their hands and try to keep them away from the stove.
  • Making sauce is an art, not a science. If you don’t have a specific ingredient, feel free to improvise. Experimentation is always encouraged.
  • Don’t plan on leftovers. If you’re smart, you’ll freeze over half the pan for individual dinners, before your friends and neighbors smell what you’re up to.
I love this recipe so much that I included it in the Appendix of Chasing Superwoman!


Bonus for Working Mom Wednesday:

Check out Amy Neiberger-Miller’s new blog and leave her a comment!  I was thrilled to read her review of Chasing Superwoman yesterday.  From one working mom to another, she gets it!


T. Anne said...

Sounds like we're from the same family! My sauce takes about four hours BUT I've discovered a cheat. I put two costco size bottles of Preggo in a crock pot and fill with the yummy extra's I want to add (especially extra pepper and whole or crushed cloves, garlic...) The, I leave the lid only partially closed and turn it on high. It does a great job of reducing the saucing and I don't have to baby it. The house smells wonderful all day long! Thanks for the recipe!

Tara said...

Can't wait to try this recipe! I saw it in the book, but this is just confirmation that I should try it!! Love things that I can freeze part of and use later.

Heidiopia said...

I love it-- especially the "kitchen full of kids" part :). I think my crew would qualify! Always fun to have a new recipe to try. Have a blessed day!

Susan DiMickele said...

Thanks Ladies. As it turns out I am making it this weekend. Come by for a taste!

Rachel M. said...

Mmmmmm this looks really good! I love homemade sauce!

Julia said...

yummy!!! homemade sauce is the BEST!!! will definitely try it!!

Laura said...

I just may accept your invitation...

Sounds de-lish, Susan! I am a big red-sauce fan. I'll have to try your mom's recipe. How wonderful to have such a gift handed down to you. :)

Graceful said...

I remember seeing this recipe in the back of your book and thinking, Yum! My husband occasionally makes his own pizza sauce, but we haven't tried pasta sauce yet. Sounds like the perfect winter project!

Amy Sullivan said...

How fun! Thank you for sharing this.

Did you get a new look? I think yes, and I think I like it!

Laura said...

Susan, thank you for linking this post up to our book club over at the High Calling. It is perfect! Nothing better than a spaghetti sauce made with love!