Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday Sauce Share

Even though I don't have one little iota of Italian in me, I still make certain Italian dishes just like if I was taught by a beloved Nona. 
 I believe that is because I love cooking and eating so much that it transforms some of the dishes I make to seem like it's been handed down to me.Either that or some little Italian Nona has decided to adopt me and guide me when I cook.
I like to think it is the latter.

So this Sunday I decided to make Sunday Gravy (Spaghetti Sauce to those non-Italian-ites), and big tender Meatballs. 
Placed over perfectly cooked tender spaghetti noodles with sourdough bread to sop up the gravy, we all had red mustaches!!

Italian Cursive, 16th c.

You can use a prepared sauce or easily make your own. This makes enough to serve 8-10 servings.

Sauce Directions:

1 large onion diced
2 cloves of garlic-minced
2 tbsn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small can tomato paste
1 28oz. can whole tomatoes
1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup or more of Red Wine(opt.)
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste 
  1.  In a large heavy bottomed dutch oven, heat oil to medium and saute onions 6-8 minutes until translucent, add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes more. 
  2. Add tomato paste and stir and cook for 2 minutes. 
  3. Deglaze the pan with the Wine if using otherwise some water or chicken stock and add the rest of the tomatoes. Stir to combine. 
  4. Reduce heat to a fast simmer and add herbs and salt/pepper. 
  5. Simmer partially covered 1-2 hrs, until thickened slightly and stewed tomatoes have broken down a bit. If you like a more smooth sauce, use a stick blender and puree or carefully blend in batches in a blender (be careful to vent the lid-this is hot!).
Meanwhile, make the meatballs.

Meatball Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chicken
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 minced clove garlic
1/4  cup minced onion
1 tsp each of dried basil, oregano and salt
2-3 tbsn water

  1. Preheat oven to 375F, line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with Pam.
  2. Combine all the ingredients gently in a large bowl. Use the least amount of water needed to combine and hold the mixture(water makes the meatballs moist and tender). 
  3. Shape into golf ball sized balls, gently. Mixture may be sticky. This should make about 24 good sized meatballs. Place without touching on pan.
  4. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Remove and gently place in sauce and simmer while you cook spaghetti pasta. 
Once pasta is cooked, serve portions of pasta in shallow bowls, Serve 2-3 meats balls and cover with sauce. Pass parmesan cheese if desired.