Monday, March 9, 2009

Homemade Tomato Sauce


46.  I promised, several weeks back, to share my "honey's" recipe with you for his "Homemade Tomato Sauce".  There are as many tomato sauce recipes as there are grains of sand on the seashore...each one claiming to be the best and only award-winning sauce.  

My husband grew up in an "It"alian  (not "I"talian...for all the Pennsylvanians) home but his mom was Irish.  She was a great cook and learned all the Italian dishes during her first several years of marriage...living in her in-laws home...with her husbands 6 sisters...and nonna.  She would tell stories of times when they would all be in the kitchen cooking and she would hear them speaking in Italian, which she didn't speak, and she would hear her name..."Patsy"...in their conversation.  They would just keep talking and laughing and there again..."Patsy".  She said it would just kill her not knowing what they were saying and why she was always the topic of conversation.  
 
One of my first memories, when first meeting my husbands family, was his mother's Tomato Sauce and Chicken Cutlet Parm.  She really knew how to cook!  My husband learned some cooking skills from his mother and his Tomato Sauce recipe is very similar to hers.  I think she had a secret ingredient she never told us about.  

"Homemade Tomato Sauce"

1 large 6-8 quart sauce pot
2 tblsp olive oil
8-10 large cloves of garlic, crushed
3 large onions, chopped
4 large 28 oz cans crushed tomato
2 cans tomato paste
½ cup chopped fresh basil, or 1 Tblsp dried
1 Tblsp copped fresh oregano, or 1 Tblsp dried
salt & pepper
1 Tblsp sugar

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for meatballs:
2 lb ground beef, 90-10
1 small to medium onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup grated romano cheese, opt
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper

Options in addition to or instead of meatballs:
          2 lbs pork chops, with or without bone (remove bone after cooking)
          2 lbs sweet italian sausage
          2 lbs pepperoni, cut in chunks

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Line a large 2 inch sided baking  sheet, with tinfoil
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for meatballs, together

Form into golf ball size meatballs, then place on lined baking sheet.  Leave space between meatballs.  Bake in a 350º oven 20 minutes until meatballs brown and a little fat begins to run into the pan.  Do the same with Italian sausage, if using, and bake till light brown and a little fat begins to run into the pan.  (He use to fry his meat in a pan but found baking them is a cleaner more efficient method.  Brilliant!)

As the meat is baking, begin to make the sauce.  In large pot place olive oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, then add garlic and sauté for another minute.
 
 Add all tomato and tomato paste and turn heat up to high.  Bring sauce to a rolling boil.  
Add salt and pepper, sugar and all spices.  Stir through sauce.  Bring back to a boil.
Remove meatballs and/or sausage from oven.  Begin to transfer meat into the sauce, making sure meat is under the sauce.  Turn sauce down to a simmer and place a lid on your pot, leaving it slightly ajar for steam to escape.  
Allow sauce to simmer for 2 hours, stirring every half hour so tomatoes do not stick to bottom.
(If you are using pork chops add raw at the point of a boil, then cover and cook.  If you are using pepperoni, your sauce will be very oily, but will have a fantastic spicy flavor and pepperoni will be tender enough to cut with a fork.  Making the sauce a day ahead and refrigerating over night will bring the fat to the top.  Skim the fat off and discard.)

You may simmer the sauce longer...it will make your meat more tender and the flavor will develop and change.  Or, make the sauce and refrigerate over night.  Then reheat and serve the next day. 
You will notice the color of your sauce will change from bright red to an orange red color.

Serve as you would on pasta or use in lasagna.

There it is...a good family recipe!  MANGI!!

"A tavola non si invecchia...
You don't age while seated for a meal!"

2 comments:

Tami said...

Yummmm...love that you have all the memories to go with it!

Have a terrific day!
Hugs~T

Esther said...

His sauce is the best! Oohhh, I would love to just have some pasta & sauce and your great italian bread & dipping oil -mmmmMMMMM. Please put that on the menu when we come to visit. By the way, love the pics of the girls and Fritz.

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