Saturday, March 8, 2008

What's for Dinner, Mom?

Being a mom of 5 kids ranging in age from 2 to 21, the answer to that question can either be met with Ugh!, Yum!, or a shrug of indifference. All of my kids don't still live at home, so when we all do get together I try to make it special. I was trying for awhile to have family dinner night every Wednesday, then it moved to Thursday, then one daughter left for college across the state, one son got a part-time job, and one daughter works til 8:30 every night. We'll try again for Mondays, maybe, because I want the little ones to know the big ones. In my first marriage, I was not the cook of the family. When the marriage ended, we ate a lot of French toast and beef stew. If it went in the crockpot, I could do it. Now I am a stay-at-home mom and I've learned to really enjoy cooking. Just not making dinner everyday.(Refer to the List of 39 Things About Me blog!) Here is the best spaghetti sauce recipe ever. You can cook it on the stove if you are home to stir it every once in a while, or I like to throw it in the crockpot on low for the day. (My ex-husband's Italian great-grandpa is probably rolling over in his grave right now!)
Meatballs: 2-3 lbs. ground chuck, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs, salt and pepper, 2 tsp. garlic powder, 2 Tbls. chopped fresh parsley. Mix in bowl, make meatballs, and brown in vegetable oil in Dutch oven, adding crushed red pepper in oil while browning. Add some Italian sausage links to pan too if you like. Remove all meat from pan, pour out oil, but don't wash the pan. Make the sauce right in here. You could also cook meatballs in the oven at 325 for 30 minutes and add them to the sauce.
Sauce:16 oz. can crushed or diced tomatoes, 12 oz. can tomato sauce, 6 oz. can tomato paste, 2 cups water (more as needed), 1 bay leaf, pinch of pickling spice (secret ingredient), crushed red pepper-optional. Combine all ingredients in meatball pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 2 hours or so. If thicker sauce is desired, double tomatoes and omit sauce. Serve over a thick hearty pasta, like Kluski noodles. Or make your own, not that I've ever done that :) This recipe doubles or triples well so you can freeze it for later in the week. Enjoy! Let me know if you try it and what you think. Don't be confused by a spaghetti recipe without oregano or basil; it's from a different region of Italy.

1 comment:

  1. sounds yummy - I'm gonna give it a try (tho' I've not made my own meatballs in 15 years!!)

    One question - is the pickling spice by McCormick? or in the spice section of the baking aisle? I've not heard of it.

    Thanks, Debbie, for sharing! :)