Thursday, March 19, 2009

Accidents...And Sauce

Natasha Richardson dead...after falling during a ski lesson?

http://www.comcast.net/articles/entertainment-movies/20090319/Obit.Natasha.Richardson/

I feel for the instructor, too. Daughter #1 teaches snowboarding up at Keystone. She would feel HORRIBLE in a similar situation. What a strange, odd accident.

* * * * * * *
It is a bit of a strange, odd day here. Lots of restless wind. Clouds gusting as if they're snowboarding the sky, doing flips.

The kitchen is full of a thick, rich smell: spaghetti sauce -- the best in the world -- for 40 people at tonight's Mission Workshop. Also on the menu: antipasto (peppers, cukes, tomatoes, avocado, more) laced with a basil vinaigrette. For dessert: shortbread, sweet potato pie with a puff of whipped cream.

Here's the spaghetti sauce recipe. It's easy to assemble and makes a lot of sauce -- freezes nicely. My mom got it from a nice Italian girl she fixed a quilt for.

THE BEST SPAGHETTI SAUCE

You'll need: 5 pounds ground chuck or sirloin
3-6 cloves (or 3 tablespoons) chopped garlic
1 bunch Italian parsley (or reg. parsley), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves or a jar chopped garlic
4 eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs OR 1 boiled mashed potato
Italian herb mix (oregano, basil, pepper, etc.) -- or oregano & basil
1 jar (approx. 10 oz.) grated Romano cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 large cans Progresso or Contadina crushed tomatoes or puree
2 small cans (similar brand) tomato paste with Italian herbs
5 pounds Italian sausage -- Johnsonville was recommended, but I like
our local Sara's Sausage, as well
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced


Element #1: MEATBALLS
Mix 5 pounds ground chuck/sirloin with a tablespoon Italian herbs, 1/3 of a jar of grated Romano cheese, 1/3 of the onion, teaspoon salt, teaspoon ground pepper, teaspoon chopped garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs/potato. Roll into small meatballs and put on ungreased pan. Bake in 350-degree oven while you're assembling the rest of the sauce.

Element #2: SAUCE
You'll need a large kettle or slow-cooker. Chop Italian sausage, add mushrooms and rest of onion, tomatoes and tomato paste. (Rinse out cans and add that water to the kettle, as well.) Mix in 2 tablespoons garlic (or rest of chopped cloves), sugar, 3 tablespoons Italian herbs (or 1 1/2 each of oregano and basil), 2 tablespoons each of salt and pepper, the rest of the parsley and half of the remaining Romano cheese.

Finishing It Up:
Your meatballs should be half-cooked now. Dump them into the pot. Mix thoroughly, and put on low/simmer. Wait at least 4 long hours -- this can cook from 8-10 hours on low. If in a kettle, check periodically and add water or extra spices, if needed. (No sweat if it's in the crockpot.)

Serve over pasta, with a sprinkle of Romano cheese.

Serves 10 gorillas. (I doubled it to feed 40, and added a #10 can of tomato sauce, as well. Can also be used for chicken piccata, lasagne, and without the meat, is an excellent marinara. Add a chopped pepper if your husband doesn't have trouble with gas!) The meats' good juices go right into the broth, sugar tones down the acid, and the spices and cheese do wondrous things. The sauce is good at one hour, great at two...and downright amazing at four hours.

Yumm.

I don't always cook in such huge amounts. CheapHealthyGood (bless their little hearts) has terrific ideas on Cooking for One (or Two, in our case!):

http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2009/03/last-minute-little-dinners-for-one-tips.html

Includes 25 recipes. This post started the thread (it's good, too):

http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2008/09/city-kitchen-chronicles-little-meals.html

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I would have to rank the sauce a 9.5! It was really really good. I loved the mushrooms, a few at my table did not, so I got lucky and got extra!
THANKS, Cindy!

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Thanksgiving and Poldark

      We just finished watching Poldark, Season 3.  A lot of my friends love the Outlander series, in film and book. I tried both -- a lit...