There hasn’t been very much cooking on the site lately, so I’ll do my best to fix that over the next few days. There were just so many restaurants I wanted to try, but now my wallet is thin and I am not traveling for another 6 days so I’ll do what I can to balance it out.
One of my favorite things to make is Sunday gravy with meatballs, Italian sausage, and sometimes braciole. For the past few years I’ve always used the same recipe from the Rao’s Cookbook. It’s simple, fresh, and tasty.
Starting with San Marzano tomatoes from Costco. These Nina tomatoes are above average and this giant can costs less than $3. If you look for real San Marzano’s at Whole Foods a can that is 1/4 of this size will cost you $4 or $5. Don’t be confused by San Marzano “style” tomatoes; they ain’t the same.
Sweatin’ it out
I usually hand crush the tomatoes because I like the resulting texture, but I went with their recipe and quickly pureed the tomatoes. I must admit it was convenient.
Frothy looking tomatoeyness.
Similar to the Rao’s recipe, you cook in some tomato paste before adding the tomatos. It’s a good way to start any tomato sauce. Careful to not let it burn.
Adding in some cheese, basil, and oregano.
I let the sauce simmer for about an hour. While that’s going on I started the meatballs. I had some ground pork and ground beef, and I would have use ground veal if I had it. I didn’t have the Italian parsley on hand either, so I really bastardized their recipe.
Mixin it all up. Getcha hands all up in that mess. Work it just enough to mix the ingredients.
Shaping out some cute little meatballs for the broiler. This is another new step to me. I’ve always cooked the meatballs 100% in the sauce, poaching them and creating a very tender meatball, but also imparting some of the meat’s flavor and fat to the sauce. I was curious how they would turn out.
The finished product. They cooked quickly and got some nice color to them. They weren’t as soft and delicate as the poached meatballs I am used to, but I liked them, they were above average meatballs and had a more firm texture than I’m used to, which would be good for various meatball uses. What might those be? Well, of course I had some meatballs with pasta, but I surely didn’t stop there and you’ll have to find out what happened to these little guys tomorrow….