I haven’t posted a recipe in a while. I apologize, friends!
Frank & I both come from Italian families, and Sunday sauce is serious business. I used to love waking up on Sundays when I lived with my parents & smelling mom’s sauce cooking. When I first had Frank’s mom’s sauce it was completely different from my mom’s, but delicious. I had no idea that people used smooth tomato puree in their sauce until I met Frank.
The way a person cooks their sauce is their thing. You’ll be lucky to get a true recipe from anyone. We don’t measure anything & pretty much wing it every time. My family uses crushed tomatoes & swears by them, and Frank’s family uses tomato puree. This makes a very different sauce. My mom also uses fresh basil & no onion, and Frank’s mom uses dried basil & onion. I use onion in my sauce, but don’t tell mom that. I also use puree. Gasp!
Here’s my sauce recipe. I woke up early on Sunday & decided to make a batch. I love the way the house feels when sauce is cooking on the stove.
I did a rough calculation of the WW points for this recipe, and for the meatballs. It’s a round about figure, but it’s what I use when I’m tracking.
Sunday Sauce & Meatballs
Sauce Servings: 8 ★ Points Plus: 6 for sauce
Meatball Servings: about 12 ★ Points Plus: 6 per meatball
Ingredients for Sauce:
- 3 cans of tomato puree (26 oz each)
- 2 cans tomato paste (6 oz? the small ones)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- handful of garlic (6-8 cloves), peeled & chopped small (put it in a food processor)
- 2 bay leaves
- Fresh basil, about 10 leaves, chopped
- salt & pepper
- Red wine (use wine you would drink. save leftover wine for this), about 1/2 cup when all is said & done
- Sugar (about a hanful)
- Parmesan cheese, about 1 cup
- Olive oil, about 3 TB
1) Coat bottom of an 8 quart stock pot with olive oil. Add garlic & onion & saute about 5 minutes. Do not let this burn.
2) Add wine to deglaze the pan & then add the paste. Toss together to melt paste a little bit.
3) Add the tomato puree. Fill each can halfway with water making sure to get all of the remaining puree & add to the pot.
4) Add salt, pepper, basil, & sugar. Stir.
5) Bring to a boil, reduce to low-med flame. Cook 2 hours on low-medium flame uncovered. This is important. You want the sauce to cook & reduce down. If you leave it covered this will not happen & you will get a steamed tomato taste. Reduce to low & cook another 3 hours with the cover on.
While sauce is beginning to cook, make the meatballs!
Ingredients for Meatballs: Makes about 12 meatballs
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1/2 lb ground veal
- 1 egg (you can use 2. I like 1)
- Italian style bread crumbs - about 1 1/2 cups
- Grated parmesan cheese - about a 1/2 cup
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Fresh basil, about 10 leaves chopped small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, or about 1 TB garlic powder. Or both!
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1) Combine all ingredients except for the oil in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix it all together. Don’t use a spoon! Use your hands. It’s what you’re supposed to do. You should smell the seasoning & that will tell you that the meatballs will taste good. If you smell the mixture & it smells like just meat, then you need more cheese & garlic.
2) Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with about a 1/2” of oil. You want to shallow fry these & finish them in the sauce.
3) Roll the mixture into about 12 meatballs. Fry a few at a time on all sides. Fry one side, flip, and fry the other sides if possible. You don’t need to fry every single inch of the meatball. You just want a good fry so they stay together in the sauce.
4) When a meatball is done frying, place on paper towels & pat off the excess oil. Place immediately in the sauce. Repeat will all meatballs. Once they’re all in the sauce give it a stir & let cook for a few more hours on low.
*Snack on a meatball & dip some bread in the sauce to complete your Sunday. Mom used to have to chase us out of the kitchen otherwise we would have eaten all of her sauce before dinner time.
Pile each pasta bowl with some cooked pasta, sauce, & 2 meatballs. Eat up!