It’s Sunday and after a bit of sewing, it’s time to do some cooking!  We are running low on sauce, so I will make Gram’s Meatballs and my Mom’s Tomato Sauce!  Before getting started, let me share with you why I need to make homemade Tomato Sauce.  It’s all about the PIZZA! 

Most Friday nights, I make Pizza.  Back in the day (Texas) I would make my own dough, but living in Florida, where we have a Publix Grocery Store, I have succumbed  to buying my dough from their bakery.  Just preheat the oven, roll out the dough, add sauce, minced garlic, salt and pepper, garlic powder, fresh basil, spinach, chicken sausage, onions, mozzarella cheese.  Well, you get the picture.  It’s perfect for dinner and a movie in “The Man Cave” with a glass of red wine.

Friday night I noticed my frozen supply of Tomato Sauce was getting low, so today, I got to work cooking.  Starting with my Gram’s meatballs.  What I remember most about Grandma  Lucy’s meatballs is that they were delicious.  So was her sauce, but I do not have her recipe for sauce.  Anyway, they were flavorful because she used a lot of grated cheese and minced/grated/pressed garlic.  When I asked her for the recipe, she told me a handful or this and that.  Over the years, my rule of thumb is when in doubt, add more cheese, add more garlic!  They taste great every time.  

Grandma Lucy is in the middle of my Dad’s sister,
Aunt Suzie  and her daughter Marie Soldo

My favorite memory of being a kid was waking up on a Saturday or Sunday morning to the smell of meatballs cooking in the kitchen.  My mom would always give me a “taste”.  Fantastic, and so delicious!

I always use my Mom’s large Tupperware bowl.
This is what you need for  Meatballs.

Don’t even attempt to make Meatballs without garlic.

Start with fresh “Market Ground” beef, add one egg, some
 Italian breadcrumbs, and grate Romano cheese over all.

Add minced or grated garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

Mix all of the ingredients by hand and form balls.  

Heat Olive Oil over medium, and add some of the meatballs.
They are starting to brown up and look good!
 This is how they turned out:
Now, onto the sauce!  When I asked my Mom how to make sauce, she was very ill.  I remember sitting across from her at our kitchen table and writing it all down on the reverse of a used envelop.  I never understood why my mom saved and used everything to the last drop until I was much older.  Of course, having survived WWII, she learned how to stretch a dollar.  I admire her as the first person to influence me to conserve and reuse.  To learn how to make something out of almost nothing.  My sauce recipe started with my Mom and it has evolved over the years, so honestly, it’s a combo recipe created by us both.  However, I still like to give her credit for it because no one cooked better than my Mom!
Eleanore, my Mom in our family room
at 363 Branch Ave., Little Silver, NJ 

Eleanore & Mitty (Mommy & Daddy)
young, and in love, before I was born.

First things first, start with Italian tomato’s.  
The can must say imported from Italy. This is what you need.  It’s so easy, why not make some homemade sauce?

I like to add the vegetables because it gives the sauce body and texture.  Start by cleaning the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and putting in the food processor.  Mince to a fine consistency.  

Brown the vegetables in the pan you used to make the meatballs.  I drain off the oil  so that the minced vegetables
do not stick to the pan, nor do they swim in oil.
Cook well until all are soft and slightly brown.

Add Tomato Paste and cook well, until the paste is slightly brown.
Remove from pan and put into your crock pot. 

De-glaze the pan with some red wine.  Add the wine and pan drippings to the crock pot.

Now, start opening up the tomato cans and puree them in your food processor.  Add the tomato’s to the crock pot.

Mix the tomato, wine and vegetables.  You can thin with more red wine or beef broth.  

Take a break and “test” a meatball!

Cover the crock pot and cook on high until bubbly, then on low for several hours.

Oh, and since I am making sauce, how about Chicken Parmesan for dinner tonight?    I am running out of time and so will just post the photographs for now.  

Wash Chicken Breasts in cold water

Dip into flour seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder

Coat Chicken well in flour.  Shake off excess flour.

Dip in beaten water and egg mixture, coat in seasoned breadcrumbs.  Cook on medium in about 2 tablespoons of oil.  Drain on paper towells.
Put fried breasts in oven proof pan, top with sauce,
sprinkle with grated cheese.

Slice mozzarella cheese and place on chicken.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Serve with spaghetti and sauce.  

This is one of my “kitchen assistants”.  He likes to hang out in the event I drop something yummy!

A fresh green salad is also nice with Chicken Parmesan.


4 responses »

  1. All of this food looks so good. Travis and I are sitting here drooling. I can't wait to be home with you and be your professional tester. ( : ( : Call you back tomorrow. Love you! Ps. NB looks like hes up to no good.. mr. fluffy!


  2. Yes, Eleanore was the best cook, ever!

    I remember some interesting meals at your Mom's house. She severed Musili for breakfast before anyone had any idea of what granola was! I remember the herbs and beautiful wreaths. I remember your Mom always had a smile for all your friends! Visiting your big old house on the river was magical. It was filled with kids, dogs and a lot of fun. Perfect!


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