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!
Carolyn – I love this post. I cracked up when I read the “or worse yet, eat bottled sauce.” I love the insights into family traditions embedded within your post. Just wonderful to think how every Galizio has a slightly different interpretation of how to make it. Maybe that’s how grandma made you all feel special – she taught you all a slighly different iteration of the recipie. Anyway, it looks amazing. If you see me show up on your door step with a plate of white pasta and a big puppy dog look on my face you’ll know why 😉
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Sure! Thanks for reading our blog all the way from Germany! That’s exciting!
Carolyn is right about having to learn how to make the sauce before we got married. Grandma Galizio while she loved Carolyn most likely would not have given her blessing if she did not learn to do it. I have to say if you saw how much I ate tonight you would know she does it up right! What you don’t get out of the pictures is the smells in the house. It starts with the roast browning in the olive oil and the garlic and then the tomatoes and then the fresh basil and parsley. It is a killer to be here when this is going on. What I love about this dish is the amount of local food in it. We canned the roma tomatoes. The garlic was from Birdsong Farms. The basil and parsley are from our deck. The love is from my wife. It is reassuring to know where the food came from and the quality of the ingredients that are going into the meal. On a last note the differences in how the sauce was made were interesting. My Grandparents would argue over what to put in the sauce things like onions or no onions etc. So you would see as it was simmering on the stove someone sneak in the onions etc. What you will notices is this is not a overpowering spicy “Americanized” sauce. This is the basics nothing fancy it is about getting flavor from the meat and the tomatoes and the fresh herbs and that extra ingredient the love that simmered along with everything else.
One last thing! We have a theory as to why Grandma Galizio’s, My Mom’s and Carolyn’s sauce tastes so good and usually better than others who will make it from the same recipe. IT’S THE POT! They have all used the same pots for sauce for years. Carolyn got a new pot about 10 years ago and OK call me nuts but there was a spell of just OK sauce. Then the pot took on the flavor and well look at my food baby if you need to know the rest. Alright I know it is not very scientific but it is a theory.
Carolyn, this is beautiful. Now I wish we had stopped by for some sauce 😦
I know that I could learn to make The Sauce from the blog, but I’d much rather have an in-person sauce lesson.
Also, I should be surprised that you let me marry your son without learning to make The Sauce, but I think Bob was right today. You just wanted to be rid of Chris 🙂
Where’s the meatballs!? Oh , I know , couldn’t wait for me! But, it does look like I could take a bread bath in that sauce! YOU do make the best sauce. And , with your fried eggplant, don’t get me started. I want it to be Christmas Eve with some leftovers now. I think that can be your dish to bring to the blog party! Two pans!
Also, we love our Chris! We were so happy you found each other, with or without sauce!
I’m with Elyse that you probably can’t learn secret family recipes on a blog. I’m also not sure that the Scandinavian-German boy next door can ever properly recreate an Italian masterpiece. If my attempts fall flat, I hope we can still mooch some of Carolyn’s great sauce!
Ha, ha, I am really not kidding! Sauce is that easy! Remember I am German and English, so that’s probably why Grandma felt she needed to show me. But I also expressed interest in what she was doing and I loved to hang out in her kitchen. If you were not hungry when you came over she at least had you eat some fruit cocktail!
Now thats Italian!