Monday, October 19, 2015

Cooking: Sunday Sauce

regret that I didn't order the Sunday Sauce on rigatoni at Lidia Bastianich's restaurant in Kansas City, and so I've been poring through Sunday sauce recipes online and they all are very eclectic in the choice of meats to be used: beef short ribs, pork spare ribs, pork chops, Italian sausage, braciole, beef bones, pork neck bones and on and on. This recipe for Sunday Gravy by Chef Peter McAndrews looked appealing. And then coincidentally this Bon Appetit posting, "Don't Make These Sunday Sauce Common Mistakes—Or We'll Tell Nonna" was in my inbox.

I defrosted Italian sausage and grass fed ground beef and then last night also pulled out pork spare ribs for my own Sunday Sauce (because I suspect porkiness is the route to deliciousness) to integrate with other staples like a couple of big onions, lots of garlic, bay leaf, basil, a bottle of wine, San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, heels of parmesan, olive oil.....the formula seems to be anything and everything you have on hand that's homey and yummy.  I chopped the vegetables above including peppers from our garden to lend some spiciness.
I parboiled the pork spare ribs, skimming and draining fat and scum and reserving a few cups of liquid.

 I sautéed the vegetables except for the garlic in olive oil.
 As the vegetables became translucent, I added 3 bay leaves, dried thyme (pull the branches out of the sauce when the leaves fall off), and the garlic.

I pureed the can of San Marzano tomatoes in a blender, and then added it with some water and the pork and broth and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to the pot, uncovered to simmer the afternoon away while I sewed.

A couple hours later, I pulled the spare ribs out of the sauce because they were falling off the bone tender.  I also pureed the simmered Sunday sauce as I wanted it velvety smooth.

And then meatballs!  To a half pound of ground beef, I added a pound of mild Italian sausage, a couple of handfuls of Italian bread crumbs, sprinkles of allspice and white pepper, pinches of salt, basil, and thyme.  

Brown the meatballs.  And chop the spareribs meat.  Thicken your sauce with tomato paste if necessary.  Add all the meat to your Sunday sauce to simmer while you boil spaghetti or rigatoni or pasta you like. Sip wine.  Make salad.  Serve dinner.  Labor-intensive but worth it.

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