I have a lot of trouble getting excited to eat at places like Olive Garden or even Carrabba's when it comes to Italian food.
Well, because in a thirty mile radius, we have some of the most amazing Italian restaurants around. Muriel's, Julio's, Oliverio's, Puglioli's - chains just can't compare to these places. Especially when it comes to the sauce.
Needless to say, it's made me quite the sauce snob.
This meatballs and sauce from my friend Annie is the best.
Seriously. The. Best.
I've been making it since we first started working together over ten years ago. It's her Grandma Prioletti's recipe and it is worth every minute it takes to make. Enjoy!
1 pound hamburger
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1-3 cloves pressed garlic
salt & pepper to taste
parsley flakes (a couple of shakes)
minced onion (a couple of shakes)
Parmesan cheese ( a couple of shakes)
Mix, roll and bake at 350 for 20 minutes on a sprayed cookie sheet.
I make a double batch, freezing half and putting half in the sauce.
2 large cans Hunt's crushed tomatoes
2 regular size cans Hunt's tomato paste
1 large size Hunt's tomato sauce
2 1/2 cans of water or tomato juice (I've use juice when I have it, water when I don't)
6-8 cloves pressed garlic (or 2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oregano (3-4 good shakes)
Parsley (5-6 good shakes)
Basil if you like it to taste (I don't add it)
Parmesan cheese (I usually use about a cup)
In a large sauce pan, put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add garlic. Let simmer - not brown. Then add tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes and sauce. Stir well. The paste will be thick so get it mixed in well. Add tomato juice or water (just use empty cans to measure out 2 1/2 cans) to thin sauce. Add more or less depending on what you like. Season with salt & pepper, parsley, oregano and basil (if desired).
Let sauce cook, stirring often for an hour. Add Parmesan cheese and meatballs if desired and simmer for about 20 more minutes.
Delish and freezes well too.