Monday, January 14, 2008

The sauce

Friday, I posted about meatballs. But what good are meatballs without the sauce? (Well, they're still good, but I'm talking about sauce today.) Oh, but first a shout out to Dixie, just because I like saying her name. She's in Georgia, y'all. And I'm from South Carolina, so we're like next-door neighbors. Or were, before I moved to PA. And she's my new reader. AND, over on her blog, she punctuates "y'all" correctly, which we all know is EXTREMELY important to me. So everybody say, "Hi." [Hi, Dixie!] And HI to Jill, another lurker (we already met Katie). I have TWO lurkers!!!!! Exciting stuff! And bananafana, who is no longer a lurker, but a full-fledged participant, and who also has a name I like to say, that I say often when singing "The Name Game" to my kids. As CS pointed out, I could have had a bit more patience waiting for my lurkers to come out of the woodwork. True. But really, my impatience was all in jest. I don't care if you lurk and NEVER let me know you're here. That's okay. But it's better if you tell me I'm awesome, like Shelly did. Sometimes we, and by we I mean I, need that. So to all of you, my regular readers and commentors, my occasional commentors and my lurkers: YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!!!!!!

But I digress. Yet again. Back to the sauce:

So this recipe came from another of my sister-in-laws, and my mother-in-law also uses it. They're all Italian, though, so wherever I got it, it's legit. It's just a very simple basic sauce. And totally simple to make. First, you go pick fresh red ripe Roma tomatoes off the vine... what? Okay, just do what I do, then. Go to the grocery store and buy 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes and 6oz cans (or, if you're willing to do math, the equivalent of what you need in bigger cans) of tomato paste. I make A LOT and freeze it in containers roughly the size of a jar of sauce you'd buy at the store, so I usually get 6 of the 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes and 2 18oz cans of tomato paste (because I'm willing to do the math - gotta use that degree for something).

**Edited to add -- Duh! You can't do the math if I don't give you something to work with, can you? For every 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, you use 6oz of tomato paste. **

[Aside: Is it commentErs or commentOrs? Probably neither. It's probably not even a word. But I've never let that stop me before. Google spell-check doesn't like either, yet it's okay with "gotta."]

Anyway, you'll also need olive oil, basil, oregano and garlic. Fresh is best, but I generally, like this time, end up using at least one dried herb. Here are all the ingredients:

So then you throw everything in a big pot and add the same amount of water as tomato paste. Stir it up and simmer it for a few hours. Then you're done. Freeze it in small batches and take it out whenever you want a quick meal. Throw some meatballs in for spaghetti and meatballs. Make chicken parmesan sandwiches. Whatever. Last night I made stuffed shells. Anyway, here's what the sauce looks like:

What's that? You want AMOUNTS of oil and spices to add? Just to taste, I guess. For that HUGE amount of sauce I make, I guess I add about 1/4 cup of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of each spice. I don't measure it, though, I just dump and pour. The amounts must not be crucial, since it always tastes good.

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