A generations-old Italian spaghetti sauce recipe? I’m interested.
Local wildlife expert Tony Gennaro gave me a sample of spaghetti sauce from the recipe his grandmother brought from Italy.
Tony’s mother made spaghetti with the sauce and meatballs every Sunday. As a high school junior, he asked to learn the recipe.
While his mother made the sauce, Tony wrote down everything she did. She approximated ingredient amounts, as did Tony until his wife, Marjorie, quantified them.
In olive oil, Tony and Marjorie cook onion, garlic and the “starter,” a baseball-sized piece of spiced hamburger meat saved, frozen, from the last batch of sauce and meatballs. Tomato paste and spices go in later.
Tony said the key is using lots of water and letting the sauce cook down for three or four hours.
For the generations-old meatball recipe, Tony and Marjorie mix spices into the meat, reserve a starter and add more ingredients to the remaining meat to make meatballs.
When they visit family, they’re expected to bring sauce.
The sauce is awesome. The tomato flavor takes a back seat to a mixture of spices that’s like nothing else I’ve tasted. The meatballs are yummy, too.
Sorry, but I can’t share the recipe. Marjorie keeps it special to the family.