a la Mary
[Our ancestors came from central Italy; Foggia, Abruzzo e Molise and Campania. Each daughter learned to cook their sauce from their mother but of course they did not use measurements... just a pinch of this, a handful of that, and a sprinkle of the other. So, I've tried to estimate the amount of ingredients needed. You should adjust to your own taste preferences.]
1- 2 lb. of ground meat; beef, chicken, chopped sausage or pork. Use this if you want a meat sauce.
2-3 lb. of chuck roast, sausages, pepperoni or pork roast (depending on how many you are serving),
or 1/4 chicken per person. Use this if you want to serve a meat with your pasta.
1 tablespoon oil (olive or corn)
approx. 45oz. (can) of tomato sauce
1 4oz. can of tomato paste (if you have extra time to prepare your sauce)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1-2 lg. cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of Celery salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/4 teaspoon parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 handful of grated cheese if desired
You can add 1/2 cup of chopped green or red peppers even some fresh hot peppers if you like. The green peppers will make your sauce taste "sweeter". Sausages and pepperoni will "spice" up your sauce, especially Italian hot sausage. If you suffer from acid stomach you can use a pinch of sugar in your sauce to cut the tomato acid. Some people add a tiny bit of raisins to acheive the same effect. One of the secrets of making sauce is the pan you use. I like a very heavy pan such as my mother's old GuardianWare® pot. Begin by browning your meat (medium or well done) in the oil over a low-medium heat. This is your meat stock. Remove the meat temporarily until you brown the onions and garlic in the oil. Replace the meat in the pan and add the tomato paste, simmering until the paste bubbles gently. Add (one can or equal amount of ) water to the amount of tomato paste you used. Simmer and bubble again. Add the tomato sauce and an equal amount of water. Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a low bubbling boil. Keep a lid handy - it will splash. While you're waiting for it to bubble add your seasonings and stir them in. Place a lid on your pan, slightly askew, and when you have achieved a gentle rolling boil to your sauce, lower the heat just enough to keep it at that gentle boil. Cook sauce for 1-2 hrs. (Usually 1 1/2 hr.) Add small amounts of water if the sauce begins to dry before it's fininshed cooking. When the meat is tender it's done. Serve sauce over the meat and pasta. Tastes good over fully cooked fish fillets or shell fish, too. This recipe should be enough for four hearty servings. A crusty Italian bread goes well with this sauce and some garlic butter on the bread is even better. I love a green salad with this meal. Mangia!