Tuesday, September 18, 2012

~Of Spaghetti and Prayers~

At this point in my life, cooking and baking have become very nostalgic and soothing. The other thing that is a 'soul-soother' is prayer. Along with my daily prayers, I say at least one rosary. A friend told me about the free rosary CD's available from Catholic City.com. It's a life-saver whenever I get in the car. The CD play button is the first thing I hit as I'm backing out of the garage. The entire rosary takes a mere 20 min. I always have lots of extras on hand in my purse, kitchen and car...and I cannot tell you how many I've given away, to friends and acquaintances who also love Mary the way I do.

So, Sunday was the perfect time to turn the Rosary CD on in the kitchen, as I began to recreate my Mom's wonderfully rich Italian Sauce! I mentioned it on FB, and so many people commented and emailed me for the recipe, I've decided to post it here. It's as close as I can come to a written recipe...for after 40+ years of making it, I do literally 'throw' it together, tasting it as I go, just like Mom did.  And of course, it wouldn't taste the way it does without adding pork neckbones, sweet italian sausage...and the wonderful to-die-for meatballs cooking in the sauce along with it. Ive added that recipe below, too.

And so, I cooked, tasted, prayed the rosary....and cried. Good tears. Tears of thanksgiving. Streaming tears of childhood memories...of Mom...my Nonna....and home. Tears that I hope will be 'good tears' someday as my sons (both of whom LOVE to cook) will recreate this recipe, cry and pray the rosary in their own kitchens long after I'm gone~


Mom's Italian Sauce

3 large cans tomato sauce (28 oz)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. olive oil
2-3 pork neckbones for flavor
1 1/2 lbs. sweet italian sausage cut into 3-4" pieces
1 tsp. basil (I use fresh summer, frozen in winter)
1-2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. sugar (my addition...not mom's...seems to cut the acidity)
3/4 c. water added while it's cooking...may need a bit more


In lg. pot, saute garlic in olive oil. Add pork neckbones and sweet sausage to brown.
Add remaining ingredients (including meatballs) to pot and simmer for 3 hours.....stirring (and tasting!) lots!

Mom's Italian Meatballs

1 lb. ground chuck
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese


Mix all ingredients in bowl with hands. (very important: love)
Roll meatballs a bit larger than golf ball.
Lightly saute meatballs in little bit of olive oil in frying pan.
Drop into sauce.
Let simmer 3 hours.

The sauce is wonderful served on pasta of your choice & freshly-grated parmesan cheese...or for dipping fresh italian bread broken off in 'hunks' while it's cooking. Mangia!!

postscript: leave it to my little italian VEGETARIAN cousin, Debbie, to spot that I had left the sausage ingredient out of the recipe. It's in there now. Deb...your email really cracked me up!! xo


Kat said...

Oh, I love this post. It reminds me of my mom. I love my mom's spaghetti and that woman loves her rosary. ;) I don't know if there is anything more comforting and relaxing than saying a rosary.
Beautiful post. Proof positive that a loved one never really leaves us. They become part of us.

And thank you for the recipe! :)

Dolores said...

I'm having such a difficult time trying to keep up with my favorite friends.....

The recipe sounds so good!!! I love any type of Italian food, but this sounds exceptionally delicious.
Thanks for sharing and I apologize for not keeping up....
Hugs to you!

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

Different Moms, similar sauce! I have been enjoying the heckfire shoot out of your blog.
Blessings in abundance

shinenlite said...

this is very similar to my grandmother's recipe! YUM! Joann tompkins winborn

shinenlite said...

this is very similar to my grandmother's recipe! YUM
joann tompkins winborn