Thursday, December 4, 2014


Happy day, my friends! No, my meatballs aren't spicy but they do have a lot of flavor, so as promised, here's the recipes for the meatballs and tomato sauce that have been passed down from generation to generation in my family. Although, as any chef will tell you, it's been enhanced with my own preferences. So before you change my recipe, just try it once.

As you'll note from the titles and the procedure, this is from Dishing Up Romance where I've incorporated the recipes right into the storyline. These recipes and thirty more are included after each chapter.

NOTE: For some reason, when I preview this recipe the format shifts and doesn't line up the ingredients properly, but it's not in the file itself and no matter what I do, it doesn't want to change. It has a mind of its own on this rainy Thursday. The ingredient that's on two lines is 6 oz Parmesan cheese.


¼ cup good quality olive oil                            ¼ cup of chopped parsley (fresh)
¼ cup sweet butter                                           10 leaves fresh basil, cut into thin strips
            1 tbsp granulated onion powder                      1 tbsp granulated garlic powder
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes                       4 oz red Chianti wine, good quality                                  6  oz Parmesan cheese                                     ½ tsp black pepper
1 (28 oz) can tomato puree                              ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
            1 (6 oz) can tomato paste                                 1 tsp salt

Let’s face it.  Mama’s nagging is never going to change until you’re married and have a houseful of kids, so make the sauce, celebrate the fact that you already love the smell, and forget her antics.  Allowing the “M” word to make you crazy isn’t productive, although the keyword in Mama’s mind is reproductive—if you get what I mean.
In a large 5 qt pot, coat the bottom with olive oil, add the butter using a medium high flame until it melts and becomes foamy.  Add the granulated onion and garlic; stir to blend them together, and cook until a light golden color.
If you’re using an electric stove, slide the pan onto a cold burner before you add the remaining ingredients.  If you’re using a gas stove, just leave the pan where it is and shut off the burner until you add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, black pepper, and wine, to avoid a back splash.  And please, use a good quality wine.  If you wouldn’t drink it,” don’t use it.  Stir to blend the ingredients together with a wooden spoon and allow sauce to simmer, not your anger because Mama’s aggravating you with the “M” word, for 30 minutes before adding the Parmesan cheese.   10 servings

MAMA’S MEATBALLS                                                                              
1 1/2 lb ground beef                                                    1 tbsp granulated onion
2 large eggs                                                                 1 tbsp granulated garlic
6 oz Parmesan Cheese                                                 4 rolls
2 tsp salt                                                                      ½ cup raisins
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped                                    ½ tsp black pepper
¼ parsley, chopped                                                      Italian flavored breadcrumbs

In strainer, place the rolls inside and run water over them.  Squeeze out as much water as you can and add to a large bowl and try to imagine him squeezing you the same way.  Add remaining ingredients except the flavored breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly.  Test the mixture with your fingers, and if still too moist, add flavored breadcrumbs a little at a time until the mixture is pliable.  Makes approximately 20 meatballs—two per serving.

Coat the bottom of a large fry pan with olive oil, heat.  For uniformity, I use an ice cream scoop to make the meatballs, molding them into round balls.  Place them into the frying pan, being careful not to crowd, and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat of the tomato sauce and drop the meatballs into the sauce.  Stir frequently, but gently, so as not to break the meatballs.  After all this trouble you don’t want burnt sauce, even though you burn every time she mentions the “M” word, so stir gently, making sure to reach the bottom of the pan.  Adjust the lid to allow circulation of air.  Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, and allow the sauce to simmer for no less than two hours.