I know it’s hot, but my mother in law just fed us spaghetti on Thursday and it was delicious! There were 8 people at the table, and maybe 7 of those people had witnessed Grandma Galizio making the sauce, and I know for a fact that 7 out of 8 had eaten her sauce for many years of their lives. Yet we very much had minor disagreements on how she made it, since there obviously is not a recipe, of course. Now Grandma Galizio had me watch her make the sauce when I was about 19 years old in order to be assured that when Kim and I got married he would not die of starvation or worse yet, eat bottled sauce! I am now 55 so I have some years of experience in this process. Also, we received a beautiful fresh head of perfect garlic this week in our Birdsong Farm haul. So here is how I make the sauce, but ask a different Galizio and you may get a slightly different answer!
Most importantly, cook this with love and take your time or don’t do it. That is the main lesson that I learned from Grandma Galizio.
1. Cover the bottom of your favorite big pot with good olive oil. But not too much. Bring that to about a medium high heat. Place a chuck roast in after it is good and hot. You can use any cheaper cut of roast, and I do believe that Grandma used neck bones or whatever she had, but I am not certain. Salt and pepper the side of the meat facing up. Coarse kosher salt and grind the pepper yourself. Don’t turn the meat until it is good and brown on the one side. This takes a little time. Flip the meat and salt and pepper the other side. Don’t rush.
2. Chop maybe 3 cloves of garlic on a butcher block. I specifically remember that Grandma took great care with this step. she put salt on a block and sort of rubbed the garlic into the salt. Matt’s garlic is perfect for this. Add that to the meat but turn the heat way down first so the garlic does not burn. That would be the worst because you would have to start over.
3. Add 2 big cans of regular tomatoes that you pour into a bowl and squish with your fingers. Kim canned our tomatoes from Hilgerts (now closed) or Walnut Drive Gardens, so I use two big jars. Add these to the sauce and simmer on low, covered with a little opening for about an hour or 2 while you stir it occasionally. Do not rush this step.
4. Then add 2 big cans of tomato puree. We often buy the Dei Fratelli when they are on sale so we have probably 20 cans in the basement if you ever need some.
5. Simmer a while longer on low and then add a big bunch of chopped fresh basil and a big bunch of chopped fresh Italian parsley. I use dried in the winter time, but since we discovered Penzey’s Spices years ago we wouldn’t use any other kind of dried spices.
6. Add a little tomato paste at the end to thicken it up if it needs it. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. That is it, and I wish that I had some of Alycia’s fried eggplant right now so I could put a little sauce on top of the eggplant and make it into a sandwich!