Pasta Sauce with Meatballs and Sausage the Mantineo Way
One of my favorite meals to make is pasta with meatballs and sausage. I love the aroma emanating from the kitchen and how it fills the house while this is cooking. One thing I found important in determining the flavor of the sauce are the tomatoes. I like to use fresh tomatoes with the skins removed. However, this is really only practical for me during the summer when they are in abundance and I have the time to go through the process of steaming them, removing the skin, cutting them up, and draining some of the water. During the rest of the year I use high quality canned tomatoes. My favorite are Italian Herb canned tomatoes. They have some spices added but need more to suit my tastes. Here are the steps to take to make a great sauce without too much difficulty. I love to serve this on my favorite pasta, angel hair along with a warm slice of rustic bread.
1. Saute a chopped onion in a small bit of olive oil. Add chopped garlic, about 4 cloves. If green pepper is desired, toss that in at this time too.
2. Add 2 large cans of Italian Herb tomatoes and 1 small can Italian Herb tomato paste. If more is needed a can of sauce can also be added. I must say that Bertolli has a great Italian tomato and basil sauce that is very good and will add some flavor. Add Italian seasonings, parsley, basil, and oregano.
3. Cover and cook this sauce mix on low for as long as possible, at least 4 hours to get the best flavor.
4. Make the meatballs, bake for 25 minutes, and then add to the sauce. (Recipe follows)
5. Par boil hot Italian sausage, not too long, about 3 minutes. Add to the sauce to increase the sauce’s flavor.
1 pound 85% lean chopped beef
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
3 tbsp. of tomato sauce
Mix all ingredients.
Form into meatballs and bake in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place in the sauce. They will continue to cook in the sauce and take on the flavor of the tomatoes.