September 18 2018
This is basically a one-dish meal—every ingredient you need can be tended in just one pan.
Recipe From Eat Drink Shine by the Blissful Sisters, Jennifer, Jessica and Jill Emich
Whenever we go back home to New Jersey, this is what Dad prepares on our first night. The scent of this sauce is home to us; it is hearty, healing and nourishing and represents family, love, indulgence and our Jersey Italian heritage. We enjoy opening a nice bottle of red wine, settling back in with our brother and parents and catching up on each other’s lives. Now watching the kids devour the sauce and meatballs feels full circle. Home really is where the heart is. Thanks for this one, Dad.
The Sauce: SERVES 4 TO 6
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. dried oregano
Sea salt to taste
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Heat a large saucepan to medium-high and add olive oil. Add onion and pepper, lower heat to medium and sauté for 8 minutes, until onion begins to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes more, stirring frequently. Stir in diced and crushed tomatoes, oregano and salt. Let simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and tomato paste. Cover and cook for another 30–45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add meatballs, cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Add basil 10 minutes before serving.
Dad’s Meatballs: MAKES APPROXIMATELY 10 MEATBALLS
1 pound grass-fed ground beef (we prefer 85% lean for juiciness)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1 large egg
1 tsp. sea salt
2–3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, garlic, parsley, Romano, flax, egg and salt, using your hands to mix all the ingredients together. Form into approximately 10 meatballs, allowing about 2 heaping Tbsp. for each. Heat a large sauté pan to medium-high. Add olive oil. Sauté the meatballs on all sides to brown them evenly, about 8–10 minutes total. The meatballs will still be undercooked; if you are making them without the sauce, finish by baking the meatballs in a preheated 375-degree oven for another 15 minutes.
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