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Our homemade tomato sauce.

Fall is coming and family Sunday dinners will take on a different look than summer. Here's how I make a pot of Italian marinara with a variety of meats that will fall off the bone after simmering for hours. Your house will smell heavenly!

This recipe makes a lot. Plan on freezing some or inviting the neighbors!

And, for less than 1 hour of prep time, this is a budget-friendly and easy way to serve a lot of people a comforting meal around the table.

Sauce Ingredients:

Olive oil

3 lbs sausage of your choice

2 lbs country ribs, or a cut of beef, or braciola, or meat of your choice

1 head of garlic, minced

1 carrot, minced

6- 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes

Meatball ingredients:

3 lbs of ground beef

2 lbs of ground pork

1 lb of ground veal

1 cup of bread crumbs

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup of grated parmesan cheese

3 eggs

1 1/2 ladles of tomato sauce

Salt, pepper

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon rosemary

Chopped, fresh parsley

Make the sauce:

-Brown the sausage and ribs (or other meats) in batches, remove from pan after each batch.

-To the empty pan, add minced garlic and carrot. Stir constantly for one minute. Do not brown.

-Add the cans of tomatoes.

-Add the meats and juices back to pot.

-Stir on medium heat till sauce comes to a boil.

-Put pot on lowest heat and simmer for 4-12 hours.*

*We make this a day ahead, simmering 4-6 hours the first day. Cool completely. Refrigerate. The next day, put the pot back to simmer a few hours till ready to eat.

**To cool properly & safely, sauce should be put in smaller containers. I don't do this, but I'm a risk taker.

Make the meatballs:

In a big bowl, combine all ingredients well with your hands.

Form into meatballs and set them up on a foil-lined sheet.

Bake 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (till they're browned and cooked through).

Remove from oven. Add to pot of sauce.*

*Sometimes we add half of the meatballs to the sauce and freeze the rest so we can skip the meatball step next time we make sauce.


Here are some pics for reference. Enjoy!

To make the sauce:

Brown a family pack of Italian sausages in olive oil in batches. Remove them to a plate once browned. We used almost three pounds.

Then brown country ribs or braciola or any other meat. When browned remove to a plate

When all the meat is done browning and has been removed, add minced carrot and an entire head/bulb of minced garlic. Stir for one minute. Do not brown the garlic.

Have your cans of crushed tomatoes opened so they can go right in. Add at least 4- 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the browned bits up.

Return the browned meats and juices back to pot. Stir frequently till it comes to a boil. Then put the pot on the lowest setting and simmer for as many hours as you’ve got. I take mine off a few hours before bedtime so it can cool before I put it in the fridge. I think it tastes better the next day. Then late next morning, I put the pot back on the stove on low till dinner.

To make the meatballs:

In a big bowl add 3-ish lbs ground beef, 2-ish lbs ground pork, 1-ish lbs ground veal. Any combo works though.

Add a cup of bread crumbs, a cup of grated cheese, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, three eggs, and 1.5 ladles of the tomato sauce.

Mix well and shape meatballs. I put mine on foil to make clean up a tiny bit easier.

Bake at 400 degrees till brown and cooked through - about 30 minutes depending on how big you made them.

Add them to your simmering sauce. Add more cans of tomatoes if needed. Freeze some meatballs if they don’t all fit or to save yourself from making them next time.


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