Monday, February 15, 2010

aunt cyndie's amazing spaghetti sauce...

i love italian food. i mean really really love it. during this pregnancy the thought of cooking meat, smelling meat or touching meat makes me sick so we have been having LOTS of pasta. this basic sauce is my favorite. i remember eating it at my aunt cyndie's as a child. a few years ago i asked her for the recipe and in typical aunt cyndie fashion she had the book, all marked with her notes, made a copy and off i went. it is so simple that you can easily get as fancy as you want with it. although i like to make a big ol' batch of it just as is and freeze and use as needed... a few times a week.
Spaghetti with Italian Meatballs

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove (minced)

1qt. (4 cups) water
28oz. can tomatoes, cut up
2 cans (6 0z. each) tomato paste
1 Tablespoon of sugar (makes all the difference with acidity of canned tomatoes)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large bay leaf

i have never used veal before last week. i always felt so odd about it but i have to say it was so yummy. instead of topping the sauce with meatballs which i knew my kids wouldn't eat i made the meatballs as instructed but ended up crumbling them in to make a meat sauce. they lapped it up.
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 small onion finely chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 Tablespoon oil
2 pkg. spaghetti

In dutch oven (which i do not have) cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered 1 hour.
In medium bowl, combine all Meatball ingredients except oil, mix well. Shape into 1 1/2" balls. In large skillet add oil. Roll meatballs in oil to coat all sides. Cook Meatballs over medium heat until brown on all sides. Drain excess fat; add Meatballs to sauce; simmer an additional 30 minutes or until Meatballs are done and sauce is thickened.

so this week i am trying manicotti, one of my favorites.

if you love italian like i do and live around here you have to try:
Padri's Restaurant on Agoura Road (this is where dyllie took me for Valentine's Day on Wed.)
their tomato sauce always reminds me of my trip to italy
the bruschetta they serve with the bread is divine, short ribs and chicken
Farfalla in Westlake Village
although it is cougar town at night the food is fantastic and you are guaranteed to have some pretty funny people watching.
know any other yummy italian places?? i would love to try them too.
truffle oil pasta, salads, pizza, never disappointed.

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