Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday Meat Sauce

There is something deeply satisfying about having a giant vat of tomato sauce bubbling away on the stove, especially at this time of year, I guess it is the Italian in me.  And let me tell you, this is a giant vat of sauce, consider yourself warned.  The first time I made this I had to switch pots in the middle because, silly me, I thought six servings of tomato sauce would fit in the dutch oven.  They did not.  I have yet to meet the six people who can polish off the whole pot in one go.  This is another Food Network Magazine recipe, and can be found here.  It is delicious, but not very photogenic, and I got caught up in getting it all together and forgot to take pictures, so you will have to excuse the lack of pics and just imagine the pile of sausages and such.  I did tweak the recipe a bit, as usual.  I used only sweet italian sausages instead of half sweet and half hot, I omitted the beef shin and I baked the meatballs because it is so much easier than browning them in batches and makes for a less greasy sauce.  The first time I made this I browned the meatballs in batches and they were falling apart  and it took me FOREVER and it brought me to the edge of a nervous breakdown, causing me to proclaim that everyone had better savor the sauce that we had because I would never be making it again, ever.  It was so good though that I reconsidered that proclamation by the end of the meal.

Start out by making the meatballs, I really like these meatballs, but you could always substitute your favorites.  Also, the recipe tells you to make 16, which I feel is ridiculous, so I made 50 about the size of walnuts, much better than 16 softball sized meatballs.  Then brown then in the pot or bake them, which is so much easier.  Next brown the sausages, which I do in the pot, and set aside.

Next you take the onion and garlic, which are just quartered and smashed respectively (you cook the sauce for long enough that they basically fall apart anyways, so there is no need to chop) and cook it until it softens.

Then you basically toss everything in the giant pot, the tomatoes and tomato paste, the various meats, some water and a bunch of bay leaves and let it simmer, preferably all day long.  I am of the school where the longer it cooks the better with regards to tomato sauce, the melding of flavors and whatnot and serve it over pasta with some nice crusty bread to soak up all the sauce.  

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