Recipe courtesy of Toni’s Garden.
This sauce is the real thing…the all day preparation, slow-cooked sauce. Best made a day ahead. Not only does it taste better the next day, but the layer of fat that has risen to the surface is easily removed.
The important thing is the ingredients. The tomatoes are critical. You can also add things like beef shortribs or braciole or even a small lamb shank. You may also notice that there is no garlic in the sauce…contrary to popular belief, Italians don’t put garlic in everything!
Remember, this sauce is an event. Be prepared to spend several hours in the kitchen, preparing and cooking. Turn on some music, enjoy the aroma and remember to have fun! It’s worth every minute you spend.
Note: If you are making the sauce for timpano, add an additional can of tomatoes, and 2 or 3 pieces of pork. Boneless country-style ribs work very well. The sauce needs to be thinner for timpáno so there is enough moisture for the pasta to finish cooking.
3 large cans (28 oz. each) of San Marzano Tomatoes
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon/pancetta drippings
Use your own meatballs, fresh or frozen, or make this really good Italian Meatball recipe.
Find 6 of the best-quality mild or sweet (it’s the same thing) Italian sausage that you can find. Poke a couple of holes in each one and steam them in a little water until cooked. Brown them well and set aside with the meatballs.
- In a large, heavy bottom pan, sauté 1 medium to large, thinly sliced onion in either olive oil, or better yet, bacon or pancetta drippings. Cook until nice and brown.
- Add one small can (6 oz.) of tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes with the onions.
- Take 3 large cans of good-quality whole Italian (San Marzano) tomatoes and put in your blender for about 2 seconds. Do not overblend, you don’t want tomato juice! Also very important…do not use crushed tomatoes or tomato puree…they just don’t have the same quality.
- Add tomatoes to the pot and stir.
- Add your cooked sausages and meatballs, bring slowly to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 4 hours, stirring occassionally.
- About 1/2 an hour before serving, add 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves.
- Serve over your favorite pasta or make manicotti!