Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Orsini's Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

This is Chris' write up of his Grandma's recipe (her parents were from Italy, though she was born here...but his Grandfather was born there)...

You will need a LARGE Stock pot (think BIG! here)

About a half hour after adding the meatballs to the sauce, you can try the sauce...we love to dip fresh Italian bread into it! It takes all of our strength to not taste the sauce until the meat is cooked through!!!!!!

Also, we have gone through the recipe (as is) twice now, and the measurements do seem to be pretty right on! So, if you follow it exactly, it should be just right!

Ingredients for sauce:
2 lbs spare ribs with bone
6-7 stalks celery
4-5 cloves garlic (or heaping tsp minced)
3 whole cloves
1 1/2 lg onion
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 1/8 cup fresh basil

87 oz tomato sauce
45 oz tomato paste

Directions for sauce:
1. Cook up all ingredients except the tomato sauce and paste for about 1 1/2 hours.
2. Strain fluid through sieve - keep stock! (this is the base for the sauce!) Work remaining ingredients through sieve into the stock. Scrape the underside of the sieve to get all the strained veggies into the stock!

3. Pick pork meat off the bones and add back into the stock. Add tomato paste and sauce.

Ingredients for Meatballs:
3 lb ground beef
4 eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup Peccorino Romano cheese, grated
1 onion, grated, with juice (wipe off grater with piece of plain white bread, adding small bits that fall off while wiping)
1 1/2 cups PROGRESSO Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (we freeze ours and grab as needed)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (we freeze this too)
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions for meatballs:
1. Mix all ingredients together in mixer.

2. Roll them out into approximately 1-1/2 inch balls. Add to the sauce.

3. Cook for about 1 hour or until done.

4. And, no sauce would be complete without the tasting session! Fresh Italian bread to dip!

These are Chris' notes, before we added the amounts to the above recipe...but they may still come in handy...

NOTE: You probably want to know "how much stuff do I use?" Well, that's mostly a function of taste. For the sauce, you need to use enough water to cover everything and to make sure you get a good base. For the pork bones, a pound should suffice. As far as the parsley and basil, I have no idea. A quarter cup should be enough. I don't really know. You can also add oregano if you like. This is MeMe's recipe. Since she doesn't like oregano, it isn't in her recipe.

Now for the meatballs. Go easy on the lemon zest. Maybe a Tablespoon or so for 5 pounds. Fresh zest goes a long way. This is meat, not lemonade. For the cheese, a good half cup for 5 pounds of meat. Any less would be a sin against the taste buds. Garlic? Lots. Parsley and Basil - see note about the sauce. Not 1/4 cup but maybe a couple of tablespoons. Salt and pepper to taste. Now, for the bread crumbs. Make SURE that you use Progresso - it does make a huge difference in taste! You need to make sure the meatball texture is slightly firm - you want it to hold the shape of a meatball! Add as much as you need.

ALSO - we have made this eggless for Julie, but it's definitely NOT NEARLY as good! We had to add ketchup and applesauce instead of the eggs in the meatballs, and DO NOT USE ITALIAN BREAD CRUMBS AS THEY HAVE EGGS!!!!!! We had to use plain with some Italian seasoning!!!!

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