Sunday - the perfect day for cooking something that can simmer on the stove for a few hours.
I have made sauce a few times, but haven't had much luck since the first time I made it, way back in high school. I can't remember what I did that time..it was over 17 years ago! So I went to this recipe for Giada's Simple Tomato Sauce. I followed the basics, but made several changes and doctored it up a bit. My changes are in italics below.
Jon's meatball recipe, his own recipe, is below as well.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped We love garlic so we used about 8 cloves - 4 in the beginning, and 4 later
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Added: 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- Added: 1 32-oz can peeled whole tomatoes
- Added: 5 plum tomatoes
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional I used 1
- Added: approximately 2 tbsp dried oregano
- In a large casserole pot or Dutch over, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut plum tomatoes in half, toss with a touch of olive oil, and roast for about 30 minutes. Let cool and remove skins.
- Add tomato paste to pot and stir to mix with the veggies
- Add tomatoes, oregano, and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. We let it simmer for 30 minutes before pureeing the sauce and adding the meatballs; see recipe below.
- Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors. I only added 1 tbsp butter. Also, this is when we added the additional 4 cloves of garlic, pressed. We also adjusted the salt and oregano. (yes, we..this was a joint endeavor!).
- Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce. I used my handheld immersion blender before adding the meatballs. We let it simmer for another hour or so.
Mmm, this sauce was delicious, and even better on the second day.
- 1 lb meatloaf mix - ground beef, pork, and veal
- 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- Breadcrumbs - approximately 3/4 c
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Mix all ingredients, adding breadcrumbs slowly, and knead thoroughly. Form into balls.
- Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake on 375 for 20-25 minutes, turning once. Cooking time may be shorter or longer depending on the diameter of the meatballs. His cooking time was based on 1.5 inch meatballs.
- Add to the sauce
I haven't eaten meatballs in years - as you know I was a vegetarian for years and ground meat was the last meat I started eating again. I LOVED these. Look at how they looked once I cut into one -
I think using a mixture of meats is key for flavor and texture, and I loved the bits of onions and peppers in the meatballs.
Print this post