Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Saturday Sauce

Traditional Italian Sunday Sauce (or Sunday Gravy if you like it better) is more than just meat sauce—it’s a labor of love, an all-day kitchen affair, involving several types of meat, a bunch of tomatoes, and at least one Italian grandmother.

(These are some of mine.)

The family would gather together, still in their Sunday go-to-church clothes each Sunday afternoon at Nana's house.  Or maybe Aunt Marie's or Uncle Vic's.

(More of my family.... including Nana, Aunt Marie....)

(... and Uncle Vic.)

Nana would have cooked all day, and the sauce would be wonderful.  She'd serve it with pasta and also a variety of meats - probably some pork and beef.  Perhaps veal.  Of course meatballs.

And today, when we get the family together, we still enjoy a good Sunday Sauce!

Unfortunately, we don't live a few blocks away from our extended family.  And we don't have whole days to devote to one meal.  At least not every week.

I do still love my pasta and sauce.  So I make a faster version of Sunday Sauce... and I call it Saturday Sauce.  Because Grandfather would roll over in his grave if I were to call my quick version "Sunday".

Saturday Sauce

3 pounds tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion
1/2 cup red wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Start by heating the broiler to 450.  Slice the tomatoes in half and place in a baking dish.

Pour the oil over the tomatoes.  Stir a bit to coat the tomatoes, then make arrange them (more or less) skin side up in the pan.

Sprinkle with salt.

Roast until the tomatoes are a bit browned, about 15 minutes.  Then turn them over.

Roast for another 15 minutes.

Pour the tomatoes and the juices from the pan into a large pot.

Add the onion, jalapenos, garlic and red wine.

Cook over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are soft.  Remove the pot from the heat.

In small batches, (This is important because hot things in blenders expand, and you don't want to end up with sauce all over yourself and the kitchen  Trust me.) blend the sauce until smooth.

Return the sauce to the pot.  Add about two-thirds of the basil and the sugar.

Cook for another 15 - 20 minutes.  Just before serving, stir in the remaining basil.

And voila!  Or I should say - Presto!  Saturday Sauce!

Enjoy with your favorite homemade pasta, meatballs and some crusty bread!

And with your family, since that's what eating the Italian way is all about.

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  1. Your sauce looks delicious! I love your story behind the recipe!! I'll have to try your sauce.

  2. I'm gonna try this one! It's worth it just to feel like an Italian nonni for a Sunday afternoon. (Truthfully, my son will probably be making it, tee-hee.)

  3. i am going to try this today!!! thanks for sharing :)