Pinch of dried basil, red pepper flakes, oregano and mint
1 (6 ounce)
can tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can peeled and crushed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground meat (half beef, half pork)
3 medium eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs, or enough to hold mixture together
cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry the meats of your choice in 1/4 cup of the oil in a large heavy saucepan.
When they are browned, transfer them to a platter.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the residual juices in the pan. When
the oil is hot, sauté the onion, garlic and seasonings until transparent. Stir
in the tomato paste and blend well. Add the tomatoes and stir until blended
with the tomato paste and oil. Stir in an extra pinch of the seasonings. Add
water, using the 28-ounce can from the tomatoes. (Keep adding water until the
sauce remains the thickness you desire. I use a full can.) Let the sauce come
to a full boil and add salt and pepper to taste and an additional pinch of herbs.
Return the meat to the pan. Then simmer over medium heat, uncovered, for at
least 1 hour or until all of the meat is fully cooked. Stir gently every 15
minutes or so, using a large wooden spoon.
Serve the sauce over pasta, reserving some additional sauce for individual
servings at the table.
Meatballs: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently with
your hands until the meat has become thoroughly blended with all the seasonings.
The mixture should be fairly moist.
To form the meatballs, wet your hands in a small bowl of lukewarm water
and then pick up about 1/3 cup meatball mixture. Roll it in the palm of your
hands to form a smooth ball about 1-inch in diameter. Drop the meatballs directly
into your sauce. Or, if you prefer a crusty meatball, fry in approximately 3
tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes, turning
to brown evenly. Then drop them into gently boiling tomato sauce. Meatballs
take 20 minutes to cook well. Remember to scrape the bottom of the skillet and
pour any crusty meat particles into the meat sauce.
Serves 10 to 12 generously | Yield: 15 to 18 medium-size meatballs or 40 to
45 tiny meatballs
Pork added to the gravy will make an oily - though delicious - gravy. When
you are using a significant amount of pork, skim the excess oils off the top of
the sauce. Pork also tends to produce a thin sauce, so go easy when adding additional
water, or add an extra can of paste at the beginning of preparations. This will
help maintain the body of the sauce.