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
- 5-7 links Italian sausage, both hot and mild (I cut them in small pieces after they cook)
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.
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!