Growing up in an Italian family has many perks, the best of which is the food. My grandmother perfected her Sauce and we would eat macaroni just about every time we visited her house. One time I ate 12 bowls! Sauce is a general cooking term for a thick liquid served with food, but in our house, there is only one Sauce. As in, “I’m making Sauce for dinner.” Anybody who knows us understands exactly what that means, and they flock to our house for our signature dish.
When I asked my mom if I could share the recipe with the world, she hesitated. After about 20 seconds, she said, “Sure, your recipe is different than mine anyway.” And it’s true! We all make Sauce, and each of us has a different recipe. My mom uses wine in hers. My aunt insists on cooking it, letting it cool, then cooking it again to get the flavor she loves. My brother claims to have a secret ingredient that he won’t tell any of us. I will share my version of our family’s Sauce, and you can make it your own in whatever way fits your fancy.
The main seasoning for this sauce is the sausage you use, so take care in choosing your sausage. If the first time you make it the taste is not quite right for you, try a different brand of sausage. One time I tried using a “natural” brand of sausage, and instead of chemical preservatives, it was preserved with salt. My Sauce was so salty I almost couldn’t eat it. I finally perfected my Sauce using sausage from my local butcher, and I use it every time. Buon appetito!
Italian Tomato Sauce with Meat
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound mild or sweet Italian sausage
1 pound hot Italian sausage
2 29 oz cans tomato sauce
2 29 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning blend, or oregano and basil to taste
Brown the beef and sausage. Place in a large pot or crock pot.
Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and parmesan. Season with Italian season to taste, go light at first.
Simmer for at least 3 hours, up to 8. Taste frequently. Add more seasoning if desired.
Serve over your favorite pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
NOTE: This recipe makes enough Sauce for an entire Italian family. Be prepared to freeze some for later!