Sauce Talk 04

More discussions about Italian food and family. Good times at the table and in the kitchen.

 

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Hi Anthony! For over 40 years I’ve been trying to find the right pasta sauce recipe that came closest to my Grandma’s. Finally I’ve found it – Yours! Thanks so much for bringing so much joy to my kitchen. Your recipe is simply delicious!!! ~ Don, San Jose, CA
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Hi Don, I am so glad I could help you find “that one sauce”. I know the feeling of wanting the exact sauce your grandmother made. That is why I have spent all the time I have on my site. I am on a mission now to reproduce every single recipe my grandmother made. it’s not easy because her recipe where skimpy on the details. Ingredients like “some flour” and “a little bit of parmesan” and so on, so I am left to experiment until I nail it! Anyway, EnJoY the sauce and happy cooking! I am working on a new recipe now for Anisette cookies. The Anisette Cookierecipe will be up soon. This is one cookie you will never forget once you have tasted it! ~ Anthony
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Anthony! The Anisette cookies look delicious! This is what makes your website so outstanding – your illustrations. You have by far the best Italian cooking website on the Internet, bar none. I set up a nice leather bound 3-ring binder with tabs and dividers and have printed in color every single recipe and photos from your site. I no longer care if my wife cooks anymore because thanks to you I’m set for life! ~ Don
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Don, WoW! So nice. I would love to see that 3-ring binder.. If you take a picture of it I will throw it up on my site. I think that would be a cool addition to my illustrations. I am also always wanting more photos to add to the visitor’s photo area on the site. How did the photos print out? Graphics on the internet are low resolution. I am saving all the high resolution version for the one day cook book I will make… ‘Course I don’t think that will be until my children are grown up and out of the house, to busy to tackle cookbook these days. Or if you don’t want to take photo shoots of your Italian culinary experiences then a photo of you holding the book open to show the recipes would suffice 🙂 Anyway, happy cooking and happy times! I will let you know when I have the Anisette Cookies recipe up on the site. I have two with me for lunch today 🙂 YUM!!!!! Ciao, ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony,
I’ll be making another batch of Anthony’s pasta sauce this weekend and will take several digital photos of my Anthony’s Binder (I call it my Italian bible). I place the binder on a small table in my kitchen, throw on a little Louie Prima on the jukebox then go to work. You will laugh when you see some of the photos because my Anthony’s Binder is already battle-tested with food stains during recipe prep.The photos from your site printed beautifully even though they were low resolution. You will see them in the photos I email to you. By the way, what drew me to your site from the beginning was your hands-on illustrations. Most Internet cooking sites have few photos of recipe prep and contain just plain text recipes. You, however, guide the viewer through the entire recipe with your illustrations, which is exceptional. Your site is so different from the others because the viewer can feel the LOVE of Italian cooking jump right out at them from their computer! ~ Don
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Hi Don, Cool! I look forward to the pics!!!! 🙂 Italian bible, Ha! Love the name! 🙂 Louie Prima really helps the whole Italian cooking process, gets your blood flown’ and totally gets you in the mood for some good Italian food! I just love that guy! A really good cook book should have that well used look with olive oil stains and everything! I totally agree with you about the lack of photos in recipes on the internet or in the old fashion books themselves. Not enough photos, never enough photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, it explains so much, they help you along the process; …”oooh, that’s what that is supposed to look like, ok, so far mine is looking like that, so we are good to go.” etc…. It makes you feel more comfortable about tackling the hard recipes. I have several really great Italian cook books, but they are all lacking in the photo department. Just text is so drab and boring! Give me photos and lot’s of them I say. So, I always make sure I take photos of as much of the process as I can. I am glad you have found this useful. Italian cooking is ALL ABOUT THE LOVE. If your not pouring much LOVE into the cooking, well then it just won’t taste right. It’s the love for the food and the people you are going to be serving the food to that bring out all the flavor! By the way, where are you from? I am in the North Carolina area. ~8-) Anthony
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6 months later….

Hi Anthony, Long time since July. I live in San Jose, CA with my wife Harriet & tomcat Luigi (Italian cat, of course!). Getting ready for Christmas dinner and this year it’s all about your great recipes. We’ll have your wonderful pasta sauce to go with your meatballs, braciole & manicotti (using slight variations from your lasagna recipe). Then, it’s your anisette cookies with ice cream for desert. Can’t wait! ~ Don 🙂
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Awesome Don! You’re going to love those anisette cookies. They’re the best ever!


Hi Anthony! I’ve been Italian for 72 year, and every now and then something funny pops into my mind. Example: My Italian Uncle Carmen had a small farm. His neighbor was a black man who raised cantelopes. Uncle Carmen called him ‘Mellon-John’!! ~ Gene
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Hi Gene, Mellon-John, Ha!!!! 🙂 Thanks for the humor, it has helped me on the Monday morning 🙂 Italian for 72 years, wow, what a joy. So, do you cook Italian? My grandma Salerno moved to the US from Italy when they where kids and their parents lived in Italy as well. I remember well, spending a lot of time in the kitchen with my grandmother and my mom watching them cook and asking a lot of questions. I loved my grandmother so, she is missed dearly! What I remember most is all the love she poured into her food! Just wonderful memories! Wonderful! Well Gene, have a great day!! 🙂 I just added a new recipe to my site: Anthony’s Anisette Cookies, oh momma mia these where a favorite around our house when I was a kid during Christmas time. We used to fight over the last cookie! Soo good! I finally figured out how to make it just like my grandmas! Very happy about that! ~ Ciao, Anthony
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Hi Anthony! I’Thanks for the speedy reply, and whether you pass them on or not, I’ll forward any Italian humor I come across. Both of my parents came from Calabria, Italy in the early 1900s. My Dad had a grocery-meat store (of which I have plenty of stories), and was the better of the two cooks in our family. Like you, I spent a lot of time watching my folks cook, and even though I’m the second last of 13 kids, I remember most of the recipes. – Especially the Christmas ones. Speaking of Christmas, can I assume you have lots of Italian cookie recipes on your site during the holidays? How about Tu-tu’s? It’s a chocolate cookie with spices and hazel nuts, plus sometimes a little chocolate icing. Again, Thanks and I’m putting your website on my ‘favorite’s list’ as well as passing it on to my other Italian friends. Ciao! ~ Gene
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Gene, Feel free to send me all the Italian humor and or stories you want to. I love to read them and will probably put many of them up on the site 🙂 I never heard of Tu-Tu’s, can you send me the recipe? I Looove Italian cookies, especially Christmas Italian cookies!!!! Always the best treats ever! You are the second last of 13 kids… WOW! My wife is Sicilian and she is the last of 8 kids. I’ve had big dinners with their whole family, just an amazing time! You have to hold 5 conversations at once! Tricky, but you get the hang of it after a while. 😉 I look forward to hearing more humor and stories from you, especially some stories from the grocery meat store. ~ Anthony
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Hi again Anthony, I wrote that I’m the second-last of 13 kids, my oldest brother was born in 1912 – and unhappily is no longer with us. Sure, I’ll be happy to share any of my recipe’s with you. I’ll also be happy to tell our listeners and readers about your website. It’s important we share the love and cooking Italians bring to the world, right?? Later. ~ Gene PS – Remind me to tell you about the 4 Eugene’s (Eugenio’s)!! I’m the second one!
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Hey Gene, Auh, second-last of the 13, got it. You probably have a lot of old nieces and nephews then huh? I remember when I married my wife Cindy her being the last of 9, I instantly become a great uncle. Strange being an uncle to someone who is older than you 😉 I look forward to any recipe and or humor you wish to send. Ok now, so tell me about the 4 Eugene’s, I can’t wait to hear about it 🙂 Have a great day!! Ciao, ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony, OK… on with the 4 Eugenes… My dad’s name (in English) was Eugene, Even though I was way down the list of kids, I was named after him. I wanted to carry my dad’s name forward, so I named my first son Eugene and he did likewise. In Italian, if your name is Eugenio, they call you Jay (in Italian, probably ‘Ge’, or Jeh!), so when I had my first son, I wanted everyone to know that I named him after my dad, and not myself; I called him Jay. That got a little hairy around our house, because every time I spoke to my little one, my dad would answer … and vice-versa. So we started calling my son Jay-Jay! When he named his son Eugene he called him, “Jayson” (Jay’s son!) Anyway, here’s the lineup of Eugene’s and their monikers:

  • Eugene, Sr. = Jay
  • Eugene, Jr. = Gene (me)
  • Eugene III = Jay- Jay (changed to just ‘ Jay’ at my dad’s passing.)
  • Eugene IV + Jayson

So that’s Jay, Gene, Jay-Jay & Jayson. It’ll be interesting to see if my grandson names his first boy Eugene!! …and if he calls him, “Eugene”! Thanks for listening. Recipes soon. ~ Geneo
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Hi Again, My second oldest sister, and my dearest buddy, Ray – we met in 1941, and he passed away in 2001 – called me Eug. If I pause for a moment, I can still hear him! Funny you mentioned that, ’cause Ray’s Birthday was just a couple of days ago, and I always send his wife, Jackie, a mass card for that day. She called this afternoon, and we had our yearly catch-up with the families conversation. I think it’s a very endearing name that your wife’s brother will always cherish. Anthony, what part (state) of the country are you guys in. No meeting intended; just interested. I”m in northeast section of Ohio. Garlic is a wonderful item. My dad was growing bald when he was in his early 50’s. My grandmother shaved the spot, cracked some garlic cloves and rubbed it on the spot, following with warm, moist towels. His hair grew back thickly and he had a full head of hair when he passed in his 80’s!! When my hair started to thin about 15 years ago, I started to crush fresh garlic in some garlic oil and rub it on my head following with a warm moist towel. My hair has not only stopped thinning, but is thicker and fuller than my two oldest sons in their late 40’s. I do it about every 4 months, and if I forget – I can notice the difference in a couple of weeks! Hmmmm! Like I’ve said, You can’t beat garlic, tomatoes and onions! Inside or out! God Bless! ~ Geneo
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Hi Gene, Sorry so long for replay. I have been swamped at work. I do mechanical Engineering and sometimes the deadlines are grueling! I am in North Carolina up in the Lake Norman area. That’s just north of Charlotte. A glorious place to live! Just love it here! I have lived all over the place but here I am staying for sure, I just know it 🙂 Hmmm no kidding about the garlic huh? So you just rub it on and let it sit for a while and wash it off, keep it on all the time like a cologne? Pretty wiled! My hair only like to grow on my face and the sides of my head 😉 Garlic is a wonderful thing! I can never get enough of it! Well, back to my crazy work. Thanks the the garlic tip! Will have to tell my wife about this and let her rub my head with some garlic tonight 🙂 ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! My boy, a good Italian boy, is a shot and discus thrower (large good boy) at the local university. We have invited all of the throwers, male and female, and coach to an Italian dinner. We are in the mountains of North Carolina. The other throwers have never had Italian. I know they eat large quantities. I was wondering if you could make some suggestions on menu. I thought we would start with an antipasto plate with giardineri, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, a few Italian cheeses and some pepperoni, hard salami and maybe some Capacolla, if I can find it. I thought we would have a salad of onions, tomato slices, mozzarella, all marinated in oil, vinegar and spices (do you have a recipe?). Main course would be your spaghetti with meatballs recipe. A second main course would be spaghetti with Italian sausage. Finally I thought I would have a few types of ice cream and some Pirouline. What suggestions do you have?
Guglielmo (Bill)
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Hi Bill, Wow, that’s a big meal your going to be tackling for sure 🙂 Lot’s of fun! I just had a big Italian feast for Easer at my house. I had to feed 7 adults and 13 kids! I converted the living room and kitchen into a small Italian restaurant 😉 You will notice in the first photo I have a bit more than what’s on my main recipe. I doubled the meatballs and braciole recipe’s, added Italian Sausage and added another large can of sauce and 2 can’s of diced tomatoes, another can of paste and a little bit more of everything in regards to spices. I think I drank more wine then usual as well while cooking. I did everything the night before. Filled up the fridge. Then started to reheat the next day about 2 hours before everyone was there. Here is a quick video I made of how I prepare the sausage for the sauce. Well, the menu you have planned sounds just lovely. Garlic bread??? I don’t see Garlic Bread on the menu. This is a must: garlic_bread.html. Starting out with an Anti-Pasta is perfect! The salad sounds great too! I don’t really have a recipe for the oil, vinegar and spices, this is just a some of this and some of that thing. You add some stuff, you taste, add some more and whalla! I took the liberty of forwarding your email questions to my mom as well. She cooks big meals a lot too. I asked her if she had any suggestions and here is what she had to say. Here is what my mom had to say:

Anthony, Seeing as how the “throwers” are invited, it would seem to me they need a little more CARBS for the dinner. I suggest serving sausage bread with the antipasto. I would not recommend two spaghetti entrees. They could serve spaghetti with meatballs sausage and of course Braciole. If they want another pasta course, I would suggest fettuccine Alfredo. Mix it up a bit. The throwers would love it and it is sophisticated enough for the other guests. Ice cream sounds a little boring . I would make home made cream puffs (I have Grandma’s recipe) or at least Anisette cookies to serve with the ice cream. I wouldn’t mind an invitation to that dinner……..Love you tons, Mom”

Anthony, I like her recommendations of adding the Fettuccini Alfredo and Cream Puffs! Yum! Let me know if you want me to get that recipe from her. Oh yes and the recommendation of sausage bread with the anti-past…. Oh man! Perfect! Sausage bread is so good!!! I’m going to have to get that recipe up on the site! Well, I hope you have a fantastic meal full of good times and shared love! 🙂 If you think of it and are so inclined, I would love to have some photos of the event to add to the “Visitors Photo” section of my site ….. no pressure though. It’s so much fun getting photos of people having fun with Italian food! It’s really not just cooking when you cook Italian, it’s a major event! Happy Cooking and Happy Times! Ciao, ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony, I was so happy to hear from you. If you are in Boone, NC next Tuesday, you are invited. And the honor of your Mother’s presence would be appreciated. I listen to Italian moms and appreciate her and your suggestions. I have not had Anisette cookies since my aunt Maria Marchetti passed away. Will have to look into that. Do you have a recipe for Sausage Bread? I will send pictures of these “Italians for a day”. Thank you so much. ~ Guglielmo (Bill)
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Hi again Billy, WoW Boone, NC. So close 🙂 I’m in the Mooresville Lake Norman area. A wonderful place to live! I like Boone, but I mostly just drive through Boone to get to the BlueRidge parkway. I just love it up there in the mountains. Just takes your breath away! My mom’s in Ft. Lauderdale Florida or I’m sure she would show up for the Tuesday bash 😉 I look forward to the photos of the event. Would be a wonderful addition to my site! I hope the day turns out wonderful for you and all the throwers and coaches! My mom sent me her Sausage Bread recipe. Trust me it’s goooood! Here is what she sent me from memory:

“Anthony, How cool would it be if you went to Boone…..Well here goes from memory. Cook the sausages in a skillet just like you say in your recipe. I then fry up strips of Bell peppers in a little extra virgin olive oil until soft but not mushy. I pat the peppers and sausage dry so the dough won’t be soggy. I then take bread dough (he can buy the Goodhue’ frozen dough)and roll it out. Place the sausage and peppers (I split the sausages) at one end and roll it like you would a jelly roll. I then put an egg wash over it for color and pierce some openings to let the steam out. Bake till done. haha. You will have to guess at the temp and time. Love you tons! MoM”

To elaborate on bake until done…. I “think” you may want to cook it at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes. That’s a guess. Keep an eye on it…. What my mom has written out for a recipe above is typical for Italian mom’s and grandmom’s. You know some of this and some of that and cook it ’til it’s done. You’ll just know 😉 In regards to the bread. If your brave enough you can make fresh bread the way I spell it out in this recipe This would greatly enhance the flavor of the sausage bread, however the frozen will work too. You have so much other stuff you will be making you will probably want to go the route of the frozen dough. I will be working on getting recipes up for the sausage bread and the Anisette cookies up on the site. The Anisette cookies are such a classic!!! My grandma Salerno and my mom made those every Christmas! Just love ’em! I think that will be the next recipe I add to the site. Well, happy cooking and tell all the throwers Anthony says hi! 🙂 Ciao, ~8-) Anthony


Buongiorno Anthony, I have a question for you. I have been wondering why you add water to the spaghetti sauce. I know alot of people do this, and I’ve always wondered why. Does’nt this diminishe the taste? I hope you can answer this question. ~ With regard, Stefano
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Stefano, The main purpose is so you can cook the sauce longer so as to properly cook the meatballs, Braciole, Pork chops and whatever else you throw in there :-). The water evaporates while your cooking thus allowing you to cook the sauce longer. If you did not add the water by the time your meatballs where done your sauce would be too thick. Hope this helps. ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! Yes, I did tackle the authentic Italian recipe. Tackle is the correct definition of the experience. Not that it was difficult but very detailed and time consuming to do it correctly. I did follow the instructions carefully so of course it was a great success! It was delicious! It did take hours to prepare but I did have my Italian music playing and I even had a glass of red wine. I am sending you a picture of my table showing my success in preparing this delicious meal. Now, I have been requested to prepare the food again for next Saturday to celebrate Father’s Day weekend. This time I will prepare the sauce and meatballs a head of time so that the dinner will not be so stressful. I will be cooking for some people that I have never met before and that will be stressful enough for me. Especially when someone brags of your cooking and how delicious it is. I now have to live up to the expectation that has been set. Anyway, I will again serve the spaghetti and meatballs, the most delicious garlic bread, Italianized vegetables and I will look at your other listed recipes. It was suggested that I prepare cordon bleu but that is French and not Italian so I may think of something else. Do you have any suggestions? I do plan to serve Italian Cream Cake. I am not so sure that it is a real Italian dessert but I make it very well and it is very delicious. Any advise is appreciated. ~ Thanks again, Linda
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Hi Anthony! One more thing…. As I wrote to you earlier, I made the spaghetti sauce and meatballs recently and now I will be making it again this next Saturday. After looking at your site today and seeing all the pictures sent in by other people who love your recipes, I have decided to not only make the spaghetti and meatballs but also try the braciole recipe. It is just that I have to make this perfectly as the guest I will be serving will be having great expectations and since I have never met them before I have to make a good first impression. They are actually in-laws that have not been so eager to meet me so you can imagine the stress that I will be under. Being part Italian I need to represent the Italian cooking very well. These people are used to eating at fine restaurants, eating on cruises etc. The pressure will be on…….. Linda
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Hi Linda! Great! Glad to hear you “tackled” the sauce 🙂 Yes it certainly is a lot of work to do it right, but the hard work pays off in the end. Thanks for the pix and I certainly look forward to more! I will add these to the site this week. Do you have hi-resolution version of the photos? I prefer to get the hi-res version and work with those in Photoshop. I can receive up to 25 MB of attachments so don’t worry about sending in the hi-res untouched photos. For suggestions I recommend Anisette Cookies! This is a wonderful Italian cookie classic that I have FINALLY perfected. It took me a long to to get this cookie to come out just like my grandma Salerno’s but I finally nailed it! She was missing a lot of detail in her hand written recipe, but after much experimentation I finally did it. The recipe is here complete with photos and all you need. EnJoY! Wonderful to have with coffee after a large Italian meal. Good luck with father’s day, may it be a great success! I think you will find making the braciole will add a lot more flavor to the sauce? ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! We still enjoy your spaghetti sauce. I usually put in One sauce amount and Double the amount (48) of meatballs and Double the Pork Chops (my favorite part). It’s always wonderful. I would like to know how to make it with a little more sauce for that amount of meat, but not double. I don’t know what tomato and herb part to add. ~ Thank you, Jill
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Jill, Sorry for the slow response. I’ve been absolutely swamped! What I do when I want to make just a bit more sauce is on top of the regular recipe add in (2) large sauce cans, (2) small petite (diced small) tomatoes and (2) small cans of paste. remember to add in the diced tomatoes and paste early on in the process when you are making the Italian roux 😉 So the tricky part here is when you add what I mentioned above you will have to add just a bi more of all the spices. This would include a bit more garlic in the beginning. Conceptually this would be 1/3 of all the spices and garlic you already put into the sauce but you need to put some in and taste put some more taste and so on, auh the fine art of Italian cooking…. Good luck! 🙂 Happy cooking! ~8-) Anthony


Anthony… The Sauce! What a wonderful recipe! I loooove your sauce, however the chef in me can never keep to a recipe… Here are my modifications..

  • First step, open bottle of chianti and pour 1/2 glass.. sip often and fill when empty. Make sure to leave at least 1/4 – 1/2 a cup for recipe.
  • We LOVE garlic around our house and I use 9-12 chopped garlic cloves…
  • I like a real meaty sause and add about 2 lbs. browned italian sausage. The good stiff dried remove from casings and chopped.
  • I also add about 1/4 – 1/2 a teaspoon of crushed fennel seed. My grandma used to make the BEST lasagna in the world that had a very distinctive taste that I could never quite place until I started experimenting cooking myself..
  • It was the fennel seed! I know most say don’t use fennel seed if you use the sausage, but it works for me.
  • No measuring spoons! Pinches and dashes.. add what feels right! I prefer a little less of the sweet basil and more oregano than your recipe calls for specifically.
  • Love! lots and lots of love, a good sauce is NOTHING without love.

Thanks for putting your recipes out there for the world to share! I have been experimenting with my own spaghetti sauce for years, and never quite realized how important adding the spices in steps brings out the full depth of the flavors until reading and trying your method! Spaghetti FOR ALL! ~ Tyler
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Hi Tyler, Nice to hear from you. It’s great that you experiment. So many great discoveries to be made with food, especially Italian food! let’s see, I shall start be responding to each of your steps one by one. ok, step;

  • Drink Chianti, this is important and will help with the rest of the process!
  • GARLIC! Love da garlic! Lot’s of garlic! This is a good thing, garlic good! 🙂
  • I too from time to time add sausage to my sauce, it adds so much to the flavor! Here is how I cook my sausage, recipephotoalbums/italiansausage. I keep forgetting to add this to the front page of my site. It’s on my list. So many things on the list!
  • Auh yes, the fennel seed. I to use fennel seed from time to time. My grandma Salerno and my Mom both are in agreement that when you have no sausage you add the fennel seed, but when you have sausage you don’t need the fennel seed. I don’t think I have ever tried both. I might have to do that. Fennel has such a wonderful robust flavor!
  • No measuring spoon. Auh yes, well here we come to the real biggy don’t we? This is what takes me so long to get my recipes up on the site. The real classic recipes, the one’s hand written by my grandmother, had very little exact measurements. So I have a lot of experimenting to do when it comes to getting the recipes to come out just like my grandmothers. That is my ultimate goal, to get the recipe to taste exactly like what I remember as a kid. When I make sauce, I don’t usually measure either, I just know exactly what to put in and when and it’s always a shake of this a pinch of that, taste then add some more and so on. Long story about how I ended up with the measurements. The short of it was I was originally trying to spell out the recipe step by step for someone who was NOT a cook. Daunting work that was, never measured before, so I have to keep track of every single thing I did when I made the sauce. Anyway, at least I have a “measured” version of the sauce that people can recreate, then when they feel comfortable and confidant after making the sauce successfully several times they can then venture out into unchartered territory of culinary delights that await the pallet 🙂
  • Love and the amount of love your pour into the cooking is what makes Italian food so special! When I was a kid I honestly don’t remember my grandmother sitting at the table, for that matter I don’t remember much of her not in the kitchen. She was ALWAYS cooking and pouring her love for us into the food! The is a profound thing that one cannot truly understand unless you have been on the receiving end of that love! Well keep on cooking and always pour the LOVE into the Food! It’s the passion and love for the food and the love for those you will be serving the food to that brings out the flavor and creates memories that last a life time and beyond! ~8-) Anthony

Anthony! About Anisette Cookies… I truly enjoyed the story about the dying man. It brought back many fond memories. Could you please email me the recipe since I never got it from my mother, I just remember the aroma. Thank you.) ~ Diane
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Hi Diane, Yes that joke has much truth to it! Anisette cookies are amazing and so many memories tied in with them. Wonderful! 🙂 The Anisette recipe is on the website now in full step-by-step detail complete with photos too 🙂 Happy cooking and let me know how they come out! I was so excited to finally get this recipe nailed down to the “exact” taste of my grandmothers. Her hand written recipe complete with stains and rips and smudges was vague at best when it came to measurements, so I had to experiment to get them just right. The Anisette recipe is here. EnJoY!!!! If you just happen to take photo of the cooking fun please email them to me and I will add them to the Visitors Photo section located here. Happy cooking and happy times!. ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! Just wanted to say that I love your recipes (and comments), but the printer friendly version of the recipes isn’t friendly at all! Am I doing something wrong? I’m a retired 60 something female living with my retired 70 something husband in the Dominican Republic. I spend a lot of time roaming the internet for recipes and even more time cooking. Italian food is our favorite, but getting your recipes to print is making me crazy. HEEEELP…… Please. Thank you,) ~ Dianne
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Hi Dianne, Sorry the printer friendly recipe is not printing. I can’t imagine why, it’s just plain text, can you print out other web pages? Which recipe are you trying to print out? I could make a word doc. For you. But really strange that you can’t print out the printer friendly version. All the printer friendly version is, is a webpage with most of the graphics removed. You should be able to print any page that you view on the internet regardless of what’s on the page. You may have some problems with your printer setup? Really not sure why that particular page would not print for you. I suggest trying to print other pages from other sites and see if you still have problems. Let me know if you want me to send you a different version of the recipes. ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony, Sorry for the delay in answering, especially since you replied so quickly. Went out of town for a couple of days. Anyway, finally got it to work. There is no telling what the problem was…we sometimes have some weird ones that seem to be unique to the DR. Copied and printed all of them. Looking forward to your Alfredo recipe.Another of my all time favorites. By the way, Danny is also a retired mechanical engineer.Listen, I have no clue if you ever travel down this way, but, if you ever do, please be assured you’ll have a room with us. If you have kids, not to worry. We’re grandparents….okay. Anyone with a sense of humor and an appetite is welcome in our home. The sense of humor is essential here, as things have a habit of confirming Murphy’s Law.Right now, we live in a small suburb of Santiago, but are in the process of selling our house to move into the city (Santiago). More to do there and closer to the grocery stores, restaurants, movies, etc.We spend a lot of time in Sosua (north coast beach area) with friends and I always end up doing a lot of cooking. Sometimes for just a few folks, but on occasion, it’s been a crowd of 100 or more. We have a rather large community of ex-pats here and “get togethers” at “Rocky’s (the unofficial DR1 gathering place on the north coast) happen several times a year. I generally help out with the big ones and enjoy every minute. I do love to cook for folks. Our next one is on July 2nd to celebrate the 4th of July. The menu is already planned, but I’m thinking an Italian Extravaganza later on would be fantastic. Marco Beland (Rocky’s Blues Bar owner) is a nut for lasagna, but the sound of yours puts my recipe to shame!If you would like to read a little about ex-pat life in the DR (assuming you ever have a free moment) sign on to DR1.com. Some of the board members also have a Dominican cooking site called “Aunt Clara’s Dominican Cooking”.Thank you again so much for taking the time to help out a sometimes technologically challenged granny. Oh, just so you know, don’t get the idea that we’re old and decrepit. Quite the opposite. Most younger folks have a hard time keeping up with us. Also, I’m very serious about the invite. Just let us know when and we’ll pick you up at the airport. Take care! ~ Dianne
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Hi Dianne, Nice to hear from you again. WoW! A personal invite, thank you, I’m honored! If we are ever in the Santiago Dominican Republic I will look you up 🙂 I bet it’s nice and tropical there. Are you close to the beach? I’m glad you got the printer to work, those things can be temperamental sometimes.Cooking for a 100 people? Momma Mia!! That sounds like a lot of work and fun! Especially while at the beach. I used to live in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and lived very close to the beach. Lived there for 9 years and spent so much time on the beach, just loved it!”Aunt Clara’s Dominican Cooking” I will definitely check this out. Sounds like my kind of site! I just love food! I like preparing it and I love eating it! Italian food really does have a soft spot in my heart though, it’s so entrenched into my blood. When you grow up with something that is the same all the time it really becomes a part of you. Stay young! I always say it’s how you feel anyway. I’m 42 but I feel 27, so I’m going with how I feel 🙂 and thanks again for the invite and if you get the time while you cooking that Italian extravaganza I would LOVE to have some photos of the event. Have a blessed day! Happy cooking and happy times!!!! Ciao, ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! Love it! My daughters 17th birthday is coming and she wants Italian. Great sight…I will make the sauce and meat balls! Is it OK to make a day ahead and then heat before serving? Also, she requested stuffed shells. I don’t know if this is an authentic dish, but I have made them before and she and her friends love them. Do you think I could make the shells the day before and then bake them that day? I’m wondering if the pasta would get sticky or funky. I’m downloading the music as I write this…GREAT SIGHT and a lot of fun.) Eric, So. California
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Hi Eric, Yes, the sauce you can make a day ahead of time, let the pot cool for a couple of hours after cooking then just place the entire pot in the frig. meatballs, braciole and all – in the pot. Make sure you have a cover on it. Then the next day you just reheat the whole thing. The sauce actually taste better this way, everything gets to marinate in the sauce. However I would not recommend this with the stuffed shells. You can make the filling ahead of time put that in the frig and have that already to go.With the sauce done and the stuffing for the shells done, stuffing the shells is no big deal really. I use that same filling for the shells as I do for my lasagna. I’m glad you like the site. The whole thing is a labor of love. I love Italian cooking and I love sharing this food with others. Really it’s all about the love for the food and those whom you are making the food for, this is what makes all the hard work worth it! I hope you have a perfect day for your daughters birthday! 17!! Oh my! I have an 11 year old boy and an 8 year old boy.. I am NOT ready for teenagers! Trying to savor the moments I have with them now at this stage in their love. Children are such a blessing!!! Well happy cooking and happy times! ~8-) Anthony


Hey Anthony! (or do your compatriots call you Tony) either way. Love your site! Love the recipes and the stories. Self taught Cajun and Creole Chef here, but my first love is Italian. Thought I’d seen most. My cousin gave me your site, bless his soul, Made such an impression I invited him to the Masters golf tournament. Keep up the good work. I am sending you my favorite “Jambalaya” (I was listening to Eric Clapton when I wrote it) recipe from some place down around Houmas LA. I saw ’bout, cause when I learned it, we were out in the bayou at a”fish camp”. I served this at my restaurant Treybon! in Augusta GA. Hope you like it. ~ Steve
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Hi Steve, Hi! Glad you liked the site 🙂 It’s a labor of love, Italian cooking is such great fun when you make the right way where it takes you all day. I always says Italian cooking is not just cooking, it’s an event! LOVE the Jambalaya recipe! The Cajun lingo takes me back to when I used to live in New Orleans. Did you used to live there, or around there? Great fun place to live. The food….. amazing! I lived in Algiers for a while and then in the Old Algiers point area. Lived there for 10 years. I do believe the partying to years off my life! Houmas, LA… I think you mean Homa, I had friends there. Also used to hang out in Fat City, Morgan City, New Iberia, let me tell you… they have some good food in New Iberia! Anyway, thanks a bunch for the recipe. Have happy times and keep on cooking. If I am ever in Augusta GA I will be sure to stop by and check out Treybon! For sure! ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful spaghetti sauce recipe along with such detailed and informative instructions! If you get a chance, I’d love to know the answers to the following questions:

  1. In the recipe for the sauce, you state that it calls for either (2) 28 oz. cans of Tomato Puree’ (“Hunts”) OR (2) 28 oz. cans of Tomato Sauce (“Progresso”). However, at the store, I mistakenly picked up (2) 28 oz. cans of Progresso Tomato Puree’ (instead of the Hunts brand, as specifically indicated for the 28 oz. cans of puree’, and not the progresso ‘sauce’). QUESTION: Why do you call for 28 oz. cans of Hunt’s Puree, or Progresso Sauce? As I understand it, puree’ is somewhat thicker than sauce. Is there a significant difference between Hunt’s tomato puree and Progresso tomato sauce that I should be aware of? Is it okay to use the Progresso brand 28 oz. cans of puree’ instead of Progresso brand sauce here? Why the distinction between brands, or whether the item is labeled as ‘sauce’ or ‘puree’, if the amount used is the same – (2) 28 oz. cans?
  2. What is the purpose of mincing the garlic cloves involved – as opposed to pressing them through a garlic press – for the sauce recipe? What is the difference, or reason, to manually mince the garlic instead of simply crushing it (aside from having garlic-smelling fingers, of course)? Is it okay to just crush the garlic through a store-bought garlic press here? Thanks in advance and once more for your fabulous recipe and cooking tips!

Yours, John
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Hi John, These are great questions. I see you are a man of details, I like that, always makes a better end product for sure 🙂

  1. To answer your first question about the Puree vs. the sauce; I’m glad you brought this to my attention. I’ve been meaning to update the sauce about this very subject. I have found that using the Sauce in lieu of the puree’ produces better results. I had them both on there because I was undecided. There seems to be little differences between the two in regards to final taste, however after I have experimented with this several times, well ok, maybe 20 or 30 times 😉 I am certain that the “tomato sauce” is the better way to go. In regards to the brand names, I do find Hunt’s to make a superior product than the other brands out there, but overall the difference seems minor. I am going to update my site to reflect the use of tomato sauce only and Hunt’s only to put aside any future confusion, so again, I thank you for reminding me of this. it was on my never ending loooong list of things to do.
  2. In regards to the garlic, well, the short answer is mincing the garlic is how grandma Salerno and my Mom did so it is how I do it. Kinda like family gospel, know what I mean? Grandma would NOT approve of a new fangled garlic press thingy 😉 However, I do prefer having the little small chunks of garlic in the sauce and in the meatballs vs.. the crushed garlic. Wirth the crushed garlic there are no little chunks of garlic to speak of really, your left with an apple sauce consistency that pretty much gets lost in the sauce. You loose the visual of actually seeing the garlic chunks in the sauce and on the edge of the meatballs. Presentation is a hugs part of the overall experience of enjoying the food. Plus I feel you get a more robust flavor with the fresh minced vs. the crushed. There you have my philosophy on the garlic, plus it would just not be the same if my fingers did not smell like garlic the whole day, something would seem to be a miss if that where not so.Hope this helps 🙂 If you tackle the sauce be sure to let me know how it all comes out and feel free to send me fun photos of the event 🙂 Would love to have more photos for my Visitors Photo’s section. happy cooking and happy times!

~8-) Anthony
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Anthony! Thanks so much for your quick response and the clarification – it makes sense. (I agree, I’m a Hunt’s fan myself, I just realized I grabbed the wrong thing b/c I was in a hurry at the time.) I understand what you’re saying about the garlic! In fact, I’ve found that most professional chefs appear to recommend mincing garlic instead of using a press, for exactly some of the same reasons you do. I think the larger chunks are more pungent and would give off more flavor into the sauce. I love the smell of garlic so much that I won’t mind it on my fingers, so I’m going to mince away. Anyway, thanks again for responding and providing this great stuff on the internet! It’s rare to find quality information out there. I’ll let you know how it turns out – making it for my girlfriend’s 44th birthday. ~ John


Hello Anthony! Your other recipies, sound just like my Grandma’s and are all delicious!. The eggplant parmiagiano, brasciole, sauce, meatballs, is all like i do it! but the lasagna , come on thats manga cake style!!! (canadianhahah) we put in grated boiled eggs, ground veal or beef, grated mozzarella, and parmiagiano cheese. first sauce on bottom of pan, then drained boiled lasagna noodles, then your fried and seasoned ground beef sprinkled all over, then your grated boiled eggs spread on top all over, then shredded mozzarella cheese, spread all over, some parmagiano, then some sauce spread and repeat, last layer being just the noodles, sauce, parmiagiano, and mozzarella NOW THATS ITALIAN LASAGNA!! take care , love the music too you have on here-) ~ Lisa
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Hi Lisa, Well that lasagna recipe is how my grandma Salerno and Mom made it and that’s all the Italian I know 😉 However I must say what you described below just made me very hungry and I WILL be trying out your suggestions. Yum Yum!!! I just heard another tip about meatballs. Guy says he makes it all exactly like I do but instead of ground meat he uses all ground sausage right out of the sausage links. Takes the sausage out of the skin and uses that for the main meat, now that sound so good I’m just going to have to give that one a try! ~ You know, it’s funny… I get a lot of suggestions about adding eggs, eggs in the braciole, eggs in the meatballs and now eggs in the lasagna. What’s strange is my grandma Salerno did not use eggs in anything, maybe she just didn’t like eggs I guess 😉 Happy cooking and happy times!!! Share the love always!. ~ Ciao, Anthony


Hello Anthony! Hey guy how are you doing these days. I haven’t e-mailed you in awhile, but, I have been checking your website periodically in case you have put in some updates. I do, however, have a couple of questions for you. On your sauce recipe, it seems as tough you may have changed it a little. When I first previewed it, I don’t recall you having two types of onions, now you do. One yellow, one vidallia. Do you need both? Is one better than the other, or does it not matter?Also, do you by any chance have any suggestions and or recipes for a homemade pizza sauce? Do you thinks it’s ok to use thawed frozen bread as the dough? Or do you have other ideas? How has everything been going with you? Fine I hope. Well, I won’t keep you, just let me know what you think and e-mail me soon. Take good care of yourself, Anthony. ~ Always, Bonnie
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Hi Bonnie, yeah, long time. All is very well. Life is great! So glad you brought the onions to my attention. 1 Vidalia Onion (…not too large but bigger than medium) is what it’s supposed to be. Just the one onion, not two. Eiik! Gotta fix that. One day I was making the sauce like I always do and noticed that the onions I always use were Vidalia onion, so I update the recipe to be more specific about the onion but in the process forgot to delete the original mention of onion so it now reads two onion instead of one. Geeeesh! Must have been tired that day. I will fix that now to read just the (1) Vidalia onion. Yes I feel the Vidalia onion makes a difference, it gives me the flavor I’m looking for. I have not tackled a good homemade pizza yet. The onion bread recipe I added here: is the closest thing to pizza my grandmother used to make. I will be coming up with a variation to that recipe as well which is the same thing basically but cooked in a lasagna pan with the dough on bottom and on top like a sandwich. That’s how her mom made (my great grandmother). Frozen dough works well. I used that for sausage bread. Ugh, there is another recipe I need to get up on the site. I have to get busy huh?Well, nice to hear from you again, hope this helps! ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! Thank you so much for this wonderful site. I can’t wait to make the spaghetti this weekend! I’m having friends and family over for the premier of The Sopranos and am making your sauce, meatballs, and braciole. I have a couple of questions- first, I plan to make a double recipe. Anything I should change or be ready for (other than using a very large pot)? I’m afraid if I make only one recipe there will be a fight over the braciole : ) Also is it acceptable to put the meatballs and braciole together the night before then brown and put them in the sauce the next day? I wasn’t sure if that would wreck the consistency of the meatballs or anything (I’m very new to Italian cooking). Thanks for the help and for your time– I will send pictures of us all enjoying it.e. 🙂 ~ Katy
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Hi Katy, Auh, the Sopranos is back huh? Cool. Well, hope you have a fabulous time and fabulous food as well 🙂 If you are going to double the recipe I do not recommend just making it all in one pot. I recommend making the recipe exactly as I have it laid out twice in two pots. Just make the whole thing twice. You will get a much better consistency this way. When it’s all done you can then throw everything into one pot. You can prepare the braciole and meatballs the day before if you like, just make sure it’s sealed up good and in the fridge. I recommend doing that late the night before so it’s not in the fridge too long. Then in the morning you could start making the sauce and then brown your braciole and meatballs and then throw them in the sauce, Yum! I can smell it right now as I type! Be sure to brown the Braciole first, you want them to cook a bit longer than the meatballs and yes, if you don’t have enough Broccolis on hand for the crowd there could be fights! I look forward to the pix of the event! I love to see people having fun with the sauce. Remember, what makes Italian cooking taste so good is the love that one pours into the food. So, let the love flow! Have a great time! ~8-) Anthony
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Hi Anthony, Here are some pictures of our Soprano’s party as promised. People were fighting over the leftovers! I made your lasagna the next week and had to make two recipes so that my parents and aunt (in the picture with my husband and me) could take it home. Thank you so much, your site has opened up a whole world of Italian cooking that I was too scared to even attempt before. That was my first lasagna, and boy was it good! Check out the Visitors Photos section of the site to see the photos that Katy sent in. Thanks for the great pix katy!!!
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Anthony, Oh it was sooo good. I’m allergic to tomatoes but I ate it anyways and I am now in danger of making your sauce every two weeks (my husbands preference). I can’t resist it and it is so bad for me, LOL! It’s so nice to pull it out of the freezer and make a fabulous meal in ten minutes, so far I have done meatball subs, lasagna, chicken with mozzarella and sauce, baked ziti, the list goes on. We are from San Diego California– I’m the girl with the pictures of the Sopranos party– I accidentally deleted the links you sent me but I will check out the site. I think I’m gonna make the frittata tonight. We’ll take more pictures when the house isn’t a wreck (remodeling). Thank you so much for your help int he cooking and recipes- your site is so cool and it is such a blast being able to email back and forth with you. “It’s a gooda!” that’s for sure! ~ Katy
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Hi Katy, Oh, your from San Diego, CA… Man! California is an awesome place. I’ve never been as far south as San Diego, but I have traveled through the northern part of California. What a beautiful place. My wife and I honeymooned there years ago. We traveled from San Francisco down to Monterrey Bay, (Big Sir was our favorite stop) over to Yosemite park and then back to San Francisco. WoW! What a trip! I remember well how much the landscape kept changing and the cliffs along the ocean, just amazing! I’m glad you’re liking the recipes. The Frittata is great! One of my fav’s. Good to have that with Italian bread the next day for lunch 🙂 If you are going to tackle the cookies, hold off on the Tarralle’s. I have been missing an important grandma tip and now I know what it is! Boiling! You have to boil the dough before you bake it. I got a hold of a nice Italian guy in the Bronx (http://tarallibaresi.com) who makes these cookies commercially and found out the missing step. So I have to rework that recipe. I will be doing that this weekend hopefully. I look forward to new pix 🙂 Happy cooking! ~ Ciao, ~8-) Anthony
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Important update: Since this conversation I have finally nailed down the Taralli recipe to exactly what my grandmother used to make. So happy about this! This was one of he hardest recipes of my grandmother’s that I have tried to recreate. Took be decades to get it right. Check out my new taralli recipe.


Hi Anthony! Mama Mia What a wonderful! sauce. I’ve been looking for a really good sauce recipe for a long time. I even paid $17.95 for a ‘famous’ sauce recipe from the Internet that included instructions. They claimed it was the best sauce ever,etc. The instructions were nothing like yours and I did not like the sauce at all and only made it once. I was very disappointed. I came on your site by accident and even after reading all the letters from everyone I didn’t want to get my hopes up that this one would be any different from that ‘famous’ sauce. Well Anthony my search is over. I can not thank you enough for this wonderful sauce recipe. How very kind of you to share it for free. You must be a great guy. Tell your mom that she did a great job on you. 🙂 I agree with the man that wrote that you should write a cookbook. I would definitely buy it even if it only contains the recipes that I already got from your site. All the pictures and details you give are so helpful. I will be trying all of the recipes and am looking forward to any new ones you post. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I have a couple questions. The first is probably a silly question but what do you do with the pork chops that are cooked in the sauce. Do you just eat them or take the meat from the bones and add to the sauce(that’s what I did)? And do you use the whole sauce recipe in your lasagna? Those meatballs make great meatball hoagies with cheese on top. Yum! It is also so nice of you to answer all your letters. I can’t get over how nice you are. I’ve read all the letters from everyone that’s made your sauce. I love the way that you throw in the Italian grandma secrets. That is so cute and very very helpful. Thanks again Anthony! God Bless you and your family and those Italian grandmas and mom whose recipes are making so many people happy and better cooks than they’ve ever been before finding your website. 🙂 ~ Sandy
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Sandy, HI! So glad you likes the sauce. I am happy to share it with you. Italian food is all about sharing the love with family and friends, I am happy to share the love. Wow, you read all the letters, that’s a lot of reading. Fun reading though, some nice stories in there. I’m having a great time hearing from others about their families and how they enjoyed the sauce, it’s all great fun! I like families spending time together, Italian food is great for that! Families sitting around the table having long dinners and actually having conversation with each other is becoming a lost art, very sad thing… I actually do have plans for a cookbook one day, just to busy these days to approach the task. I also plan on making some videos of the whole process, now that will be blast! Just need to find the time. In regards to the pork chop, I usually put them in a bowl with a bit of sauce and serve them as a side dish or as you did, break it up and throw them in the sauce, depends on my mood. I do not use the whole sauce recipe for the Lasagna. You should have about 1/3 of the sauce leftover after making the Lasagna. Grandma secret’s are very valuable and as I remember them I try my best to share them. Everyone needs to know the joy of great Italian food. OK, here is another great grandma tip, just came to me. I remember that grandma Salerno used to “always” get a nice fresh block of Parmesan cheese and grate it wall into a plate and then put it into jars. The kind of jars that have a plastic ring and latch that seals everything air tight. This is hard work, you have to use the smallest holes on the grater and it real work! Grandma was strong! Really it will take a good 30 minutes+ to grate the Parmesan. But, it’s always nice to have the “fresh” Parmesan with all the meals and the cooking. Really makes a difference. Well, happy cooking! I will have new recipes up soon. ~8-) Anthony


Anthony!, I my name is Agatha (nice Italian/Sicilian girl!!). I have been making sauce for many of my 52 years and always experimenting different styles and tastes when it comes to my spaghetti sauce. I tried your sauce and have to say that it was simply DELICIOUS! My Sunday crowd felt the same way! Now, I’ll have more company….. thanks!! Anyway, thank you for sharing your recipes…. I can’t wait to make other meals that you’ve put on your site! Keep up the great cooking!! I truly enjoy reading your “comments”….it makes cooking worthwhile! Again, thanks!! I’ll keep you posted as to your other recipes that I intend to make! ~ Sincerely, Agatha! Bon Appetite!!!!
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Agatha, Thanks for the kind words. You have been making sauce a long time and for you to like mine that much, well, that’s a BIG complement 🙂 Grandma Salerno would be proud! Have fun with the recipes and defiantly let me know how it all comes out. Happy cooking!! ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony, I just wanted to let you know that I made your sauce and meatballs for my family for our Valentines Day dinner and we just loved it! I also emailed your recipe to several friends just to read through it because it was so funny. I really enjoyed reading through and making everything, you did such a great job. I loved the way you explained everything, and it was a whole new experience for me even though I’ve been married for nearly 25 years and consider myself a proficient cook. I just wanted to say “Thanks”! I felt Italian for a day! Yours Truly, Karen
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Hi Karen, Nice to hear you had a lovely Italian Valentine’s day 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Share the love is what I say! Italian cooking is not really just cooking, it’s an event! I’m glad to share this piece of my family history with you. I still remember how much work my grandmother did when it came to cooking on Sunday afternoons. I think, “in my memory” every time I saw here she was in the kitchen! Hard work, cooking Italian food for big families! Well, happy cooking! ~8-) Anthony


Dearest Anthony, First I want to commend you on your awesome authentic recipes.. I am 50% Sicilian and 50% french but I tell everyone I am Italian one because I am proud of that and two because I look 100% Italian.. Anyhow, I have made many of your recipes and NEVER have I been disappointed!! I tell everyone about your website and MANY of them use your recipes all the time as I do. I have made your recipes our family favorites.. So thank you for all your dedication to simplifying each step. I know you have worked HOURS trying to make this enjoyable to anyone whom makes your recipes. You just can not go wrong with how easy you have made it with the step by step directions and the grocery list. You literally took all the guess work out for us. Thank you.. I am emailing you because I have made your sauce (which is the best I have ever had) several times but the only problem I am having is the acidity of it.. I use sugar as you say but it is still way too tangy for our liking. How would you recommend that I fix this? I have a friend whom is also Italian and her mom said to put one fennel seed and that will take care of the problem.. I was worried it would change the taste of the sauce but she swears it does not since it is only one seed. What is your thought on this and do you have any suggestions for me? Thank you for your time and God Bless you and your family….. You have the best website for Italian food..I have been to thousands and no body holds a candle to yours..Thank you from our family to yours!! ~ Sincerely, Tara
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Tara, Thank you for the kind words about my labor of love, the sauce site. I do have great fun with it. The best part of the site is all the nice emails I get and all the great discussion about Italian food. Every email gets me hungry 😉 Too tangy huh? Hmmmmm…. Well the fennel might do it. But you would need more than one seed. Throw in about 1/4 tsp of seeds, or better yet cook the sauce with sausage too! Same recipe with the meatballs, but you add Italian sausage as well. If you use sausage don’t add the fennel because there is fennel in the sausage. Also if you are using sweet basil, use less. Offset what you don’t use of the sweet basil with oregano, or also try using just basil, not sweet basil. The tanginess your are tasting might be from the sweet basil. I kind of like that taste so it does not seem tangy to me. You “might” want to try different tomatoes as well. What brand are you using for the diced tomatoes? Well, I’ve been meaning to add this to the site… 🙂 I just threw up a little photo gallery of the sausage preparation process involved to add the sausage to the sauce. You will see in the photos that I actually boil the sausage in water right in the frying pan. Fill the pan up with water, just enough to almost cover the sausage. Then cook on high being careful to keep flipping the sausage. be sure to stab the sausage several times with a fork during cooking. CAREFUL, they squirt! You cook the sausage in this manner until all the water is cooking down and you are left with just the sausage frying in the pan, at this point, you keep cooking to get them nice and browned, even a little black in places, this is OK. Then you throw them in the sauce with the meatballs. Here is how I prepare the sausage. You will be the very first to view the sausage photo gallery 😉 Hey, if you think of it or feel so inspired….. I need more photos for the visitors photo page. I just love putting up photos of people having fun with the recipes, great fun! 🙂 No pressure 😉 I hope this helps! ~8-) Anthony
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Dear Anthony, Wow, I am so blown away by the quick response I got from you.. Thank you so much. You see us Italians know the love and meaning Italian cooking holds in our hearts. It reminds me of all the times I would wake up to the most delicious, aromatic smell of my Nana’s meatballs and sauce cooking…They say food is comfort but I truly believe it is not the food itself but the memories attached to the cooking of the food. My Nana is 80 years old now and I do ALL the Italian cooking for her now. Her maiden name is Puleo and she has made the most awesome Italian food I have ever had. I suppose it is because her mom and dad were born in Sicily and although Nana was born in Lynn, Mass, she was taught first hand the magnificent cooking from Italy itself. Her mom was an AWESOME Authentic Italian cook. They did not know a word of English when they came to America but Nana learned both English and Italian. So we got the best of both worlds growing up.. I am proud of my heritage and I am SOOOO thankful for your dedication as I mentioned in my earlier email. I am 32 now with 3 children and your step by step directions are helping in making their Italian cooking memories of a lifetime. That is priceless.. You said something about posting photos.. Do you mean when I am cooking the sauce? Oh, before I forget, thank you for the first time ever seen step by step method of cooking the sausage. It is funny because that is exactly the way I have been taught to cook it..So I was happy to know I knew something already but the fact that you sent it to me first was such a blessing. Our roots run together HUH? How awesome is that..Let me know exactly what you want me to take photos of and please know I am not blessed enough to have a scanner so I would have to mail you the pictures and have you post them so if that is not an option just let me know okay?? I truly have been awed by your caring, generosity and passion for this very precise and treasured heritage….You are an awesome man and we are soooo grateful to you..I would like to keep in touch with you if you do not mind… I always have questions and need help when it comes to Italian cooking because my Nana is now suffering from Lymphoma Cancer and the Kemo has basically erased most of her memories of any kind and I am so grateful to have come across your website..I am on there at least twice a week….Thank you again for everything Anthony. I feel like I know you personally but that is just another blessing to being Italian, even though you are strangers, you are linked as family through the passion of this precious way of living, memories, cooking and eating..You have truly made my day..God Bless you and your whole family!!!! ~ Sincerely, Tara!
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Anthony… One more thing….I wonder if anyone in my family knows anyone in your family…My family were mobsters growing up..Sad to say but true. My Nana’s Brother Phil Puleo was in connection with the Mafia and everyone knew not to mess with our family..It is a sad business but we were always taken care of and safe..I think every “True” Italian family has the same story and connection one way or the other.LOL I have never made your lasagna so I am so excited about it…Can I use more ricotta than what you use or should I stick to the recipe to a T? I love ricotta that is my I ask and instead of using the Polly-o Brand Mozzarella do you think I can add a bag of the Italian 6 blend shredded cheese ? I love the nutty taste from the Asiago, Parmesan, Romano,Mozzarella, Provolone and fontina…If it would not be a good combo please let me know…I love real cheesy lasagna but you are the expert and wanted to know your opinion..Thanks, Tara 🙂
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Hi Tara, Mafia huh? I’m not sure if there is any of that in my family or not. Sometimes that is kept quiet. In regards to the extra cheese in the lasagna; Well, personally, I would stick to my recipe on the lasagna, If you get too much cheese in the recipe everything gets too soggy and the layers don’t stay stacked like they should. If your not careful, you could end up with lasagna soup. I don’t recommend adding the 6 cheese mix because you will be adding oil/grease from the different cheeses, again having the possibility of ending up with lasagna soup. ~8-) Anthony


Hi there! I hope that this message gets into the hands of the person who wrote the recipes. Very impressive. I absolutely love the way you explain and direct how to make your dishes..from the sauces to the Italian garlic bread recipe.Your photo gallery is excellent.I am not Italian, but swear somewhere in my genetics there MUST be some Italian in me, because I love, love, love Italian food, GARLIC and cooking for my family and friends! Your site is SUPERB!! We’re having a pasta fund raiser next month. I want to make delicious sauce and think I’ll use your recipe. ~ Thank you! Katherine
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Hi Katherine, Hi! I’m sure there must be Italian blood in your body somewhere since you have the love for the Nice Itaiano food! Oh the Garlic! 🙂 Glad you enjoy the site. It’s a labor of love. I do have a passion for Italian cooking which I picked up from my Grandmom, mom, mother in-law, Uncles, Aunts so on etc… Food was a very big part of my childhood and in particular, Italian food, the best on the planet in my opinion, but then I am a bit bias 😉 Anyway, hope you do end up making the lovely sauce, meatballs and braciole! Have fun with the recipes and let me know how it all comes out if you do make the sauce for the fund raiser and my you raise much for the cause! The key is to not just double or triple the recipe, what you will want to do is make the recipe as written out 2 or 3 times or as much as you need to meat the amount required. The recipe as written out feeds 8 people comfortably with some sauce leftover for saving. It can feed 10 people with no room to spare, but that could be stretching it if you have big eaters in the bunch. ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! I am amazed at how good your sauce was. We are all still talking about it. I want to make everything on the site now. Happy Valentine’s Day to a wonderful cook and a great human being who has made a great dent in the world with his recipes. Suzan ~ Coming to you from Portland, MN!
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Suzan, And a happy Valentines day to you too! So glad the sauce came out well. The only mystery behind it all are the steps you take and the amount of this and that. You see, there are not many who share grandma’s sauce, not sure why. I believe in sharing the love 🙂 Happy cooking!! ~8-) Anthony


Anthony, I have been telling all of my peeps about your site. This is the most comprehensive recipe site I have found. You give the shopping list, wine suggestions, even great music to set the theme, and loads of pictures to guide us through this wonderful process. I have been trying to perfect my own sauce or RED GRAVY (as we used to say in the South) for over 30 years, but your families secrets and methods have taken this blonde Dane into a whole new level. (The Italian Level) of saucery!! We live North of Chicago and I decided to make a small party out of this recipe one evening. I spent the whole day chopping,mixing and stirring and when my sister and brother-in-law came home from work and my girlfriend came over we spent the whole evening eating and laughing and dancing to the music. I doubled the recipe to have plenty to freeze, and I must admit I had to do a few variations on your theme but the end result was simply awesome. I mixed ground sausage and ground chuck and browned it and didn’t make the meatballs (sorry)(next time I will follow your recipe to a tee) All I had was wheat french bread but it turned out to be the best garlic bread I have EVER tasted!! A week later I thawed some of the sauce and made your lasagna (absolutely KILLER!!!) I can’t thank you enough for building this site. All the best to you and yours! Peace Love and RED GRAVY. CHOW, William P., Scott, Ann and Angie.
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Hey William, I Hi! Thanks for the great photos! 🙂 Sorry, just now getting back to your email. I’ve been swamped at work! Gasping for air, mechanical engineering, ugh, it’s all about deadlines. So, looks like you had fun with the sauce? I am please that I could help you get to a new level of saucery. Thanks for the kind words about the site. It is a labor of love and I have so many more recipes I want to get up on the site. Just takes a lot of effort to get them all written down. It’s hard when you have been taught to just put in some if this and some of that and taste and then put some more and you just know when it’s right. So to actually write down measurements and all the appropriate steps can be a daunting task. Auh but the love that is behind the food! It must be shared. I am glad to share it with you. And oh yes, the lovely Italiano music, it does add to the whole experience. The smells and the sounds together always takes me way back in time to a much simpler place of the family being together and love abounding! Wonderful! Yeah, that lasagna is killer isn’t it? Well, happy cooking. I am working on your photo’s now and will have them implemented into the site soon. My favorite pic is with you and the wine and the nice salads and the lasagna all ready to go. Nice! Makes me hungry, pour me a glass please, I’ll be right over. I will let you know when your pic’s are up on the site. When I am done, you will have you own dedicated page on my site, so if you ever feel like sending more photos, feel free, it will be easy after that because you will already have an established page on the site. Have a fantastic day. ~8-) Anthony


Note: This is a long one and you have to follow along very carefully…

Anthony, Recently a local food consultant made a statement in our local newspaper which I found..well, odd. The statement was (is) …”Spaghetti and meatballs-there is nowhere in Italy where that exists.” As far as I know, my bloodline is 100% Italian. My grandparents (all 4) emigrated from Bisceglia (father’s folks) and Naples (mother’s folks)in the 1920s, to the Greater Boston area. My parents (1st generation Italian Americans)grew up with a basic staple of Italian cooking and raised me and my brothers in the 1950s and 1960s on the foods that were brought over from Italy in the 1920s. Spaghetti and meatballs and braciole was a standard meal on Sundays. They had it as a standard meal on Sundays in the 1930s and 1940s as well. I would like to make a correction to the statement made by our local food consultant, but I don’t have positive proof that there are current, or past, recipes in Italy that included both spaghetti and meatballs. I have consulted my parents on this, but they can get no more specific than “Of course it’s from Italy, are you crazy?”. Well, I’m not, but I can’t really go to the local food consultant with that as my counter point to the statement alleging that spaghetti and meatballs are not found in Italy. Can you offer any advice, references that I can view on line, or other location to go in order to further my case for a correction to our food consultant? Any help would be appreciated. ~ Thanks Paul J. Rana ~ Bigfork, MT
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Hi Paul, Sorry just now getting back to you on this. I have been totally swamped with work and very backed up with email. I have been getting a few emails on this very subject of the history behind Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs. Very interesting! I have been doing some investigating myself on this. I am finding out a lot about my family history in the process 🙂 Below I have placed some on going correspondence between a visitor of my site that had the same questions as you. I got my mom into the conversation too! 🙂 Well, turns out I have this cousin Gus that has done a lot of work with the family tree investigating stuff and he also wrote a book about Ellis Island where all the Italian immigrants had to go before they came into America a while back. Well…. read more about it below. Some very interesting stuff. There will be more to come on this so I will try to keep you in the loop on our conversations. happy Cooking! Ciao, ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony, You have a wonderful site! The sauce I make is very similar to yours, with the exception that we use sausage instead of pork chops, and sometimes (when making for myself, cuz I don’t like sausage) I just put in several fennel seeds for the flavor. (That should work for the person on your Sauce Talks section who wanted to eliminate the pork for her Jewish friends.) Recently, I have started to use cans of crushed tomatoes instead of puree, and the result is amazing! I cannot wait until I have some time to try your Ratatouille and Eggplant Parmesan. My Sicilian Great-Grandma Milone came to Pickfaux, Louisiana from Palermo, Sicily in 1911 with her family when she was only two. She is where we got our method of preparing our family’s sauce and meatballs, but, alas, she passed away when I was only 11, and I never got to ask her many of the questions I have. Really, the reason I write is because I was trying to find out a little on the history of the origination of spaghetti and meatballs, as we know them now, cooked together. I think your mom’s mom may have possibly derived her methods from the same roots as my Great-Grandma Milone (Tortorice), and was hoping you may know how the recipe came to be as we know it. I have done a little research, and, from what I gather, pasta with a tomato and meat sauce was made popular by Italian-Americans from Sicily & Naples in the United States between the late 1800’s and World War II to satisfy an American craving for red meat… Do you know where your family developed their methods of preparation? ~ Sincerely, Sarah.
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Hi Sarah,
Sorry for delay in response. I have been swamped with work. Glad you enjoyed the site. It’s a labor of love! 🙂 I am looking into the history on this now. Coordinating with my mom. My mom said she is forwarding your email onto my cousin Gus, who was very good friend with my grandmother and new my great grandmother as well. Gus also has written a book about Ellis island and all the Italian immigrants that came through that Island, my grandmother being one of them. He has also done extensive work on My mom’s family tree (The “Salerno” side). So, anyway, when I hear back from Gus we should have some really good information on this 🙂 from WHAT I REMEMBER, My grandma Salerno came over here when she was ABOUT 9 years old and she learned all her cooking from her Mom who lived in Italy all her life. She learned how to make the Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs from her mom whole lived in Italy. I’m thinking that this is a traditional meal that they actually made in Italy, but I’m foggy on the details of how my grandmother came here. If her mom, my great grandmother came to America with her then she could have picked up the recipe here and my grandmother learned how to cook this from her mom when she was here in America. I’m hoping cousin Gus can shed some light on this subject. More of the story to come I hope. ~8-) Anthony P.S. If you ever write something official up on the subject of the History of Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs I would love to be able to throw it up on my site or link to it somewhere. Let me know if you ever write something about this subject. You have me interested in it now as well. I always just took it for granted that it was an authentic traditional Italian meal. P.S.S Here is a little interesting note I just read on this site: http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=473476.
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A couple of weeks later….

Sarah, Ok, making some real progress here.. Check out the email from my Mom below. Can’t wait to hear from Cousin Gus 🙂 ~8-) Anthony

Anthony, Grandma Salerno was born in Santeramo in the province of Bari, Italy. She was only 7 or 8 when she came to the states. Her mother died when grandma was just a baby. Her father brought her and her 4 siblings to the states and then went back to Italy. She was raised by her oldest sibling, my aunt Rose Bolino. Rose’s Son, Gus Bolino is the professor and the family historian. Since Grandma was raised by his mother, he hopefully will have the history of some of the recipes. I am going to contact and him go to your website and then e-mail you with info. Much love, Mom

Hi Anthony, Thank you so much for the info. I hope we can get to the bottom of this. I read a bit about the tomato that echoes what you sent me, and goes into greater detail on www.foodtimeline.org, which is a very interesting site. I’ve included direct link below. I am trying to work up the courage to go talk to my grandpa about his mother, My Great-Grandma Milone (Tortorice). Her family came over from Palermo, Sicily, and she was the youngest child, the only one who was born here. He should know something. This might be a good bridge, as he has been estranged from our family for a while (stubborn Italians!) This has turned out to be a fascinating search thus far! I never knew that bit of history about the tomato before. Hope to find out more soon! ~ Thanks again, Sarah

Check out this page for some very interesting history about Spghetti and Meatballs!
http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq2.html#spaghettiandmeatballs


Hi Anthony, I want to thank you for the amazing recipe! Not only did I think it was the best I have ever had, but the guys at the station (Ambulance) loved it also. Everyone thought that I was a gourmet cook, little do they know, I really have no clue what I am doing. I also made sure to give you credit, but I could not give you enough!!! I am very greatfull that you are so kind to take the time to have that site. By the way, you were definitely right about the fingers smelling like garlic….. I think the smell lasted for days!!!! Take care, and let me know if you have any more wonderful recipes that I could try! ~ Jamie G.
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Jamie, Glad to hear it came out wonderful! 🙂 Tell the guys at the station Anthony says “mangilo tutto”!!!! (Eat it All) 🙂 The Italian way is to always have at least two platefuls. With that garlic on your fingers, you had that very special grandma smell. My wife has a funny story about the garlic on the fingers. My mother in-law is in her 80’s and is a great cook! She is Sicilian and always cooking up some yummy Italian dish and she is always using garlic. Well my wife has 7 siblings, she being the youngest of the batch. My wife and all her sisters and brothers loved their mom’s salad! But when they tried to make the same salad, they could never get it quite right, it would never taste quite the same. Finally they figured it out! You see, my mother in-law (Rose), she always mixed the salad with her hands, she would use a nice balsamic vinegar and olive oil and then just mix it with her hands, well her hands where saturated in garlic most of the time so there was always a hint of garlic added to the dressing! So that was the missing ingredient. Ha! Ha! So now they know, get garlic on your fingers before you make the salad. ~ Happy Cooking. ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony ~ One more thing… The recipe you put up sounds amazing and I can’t wait to make it for my family. I was just wondering how many servings it makes. Thank you again for your help, this is amazing. ~ Jamie G.
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Jamie, If you make the Sauce, Meatballs and Braciole for one big meal, you can serve about 10 with a little room to spare but not much more than than. I have found it’s a perfect recipe for 8 people. If you have more then I recommend making the sauce twice as written out. Have fun with the recipe. If you do make it, be sure to let me know how it all came out. Happy Cooking! ~8-) Anthony


Anthony ~ To Good To Be True! OK, let me first say this. I Love Italian Food!, Pasta I can eat pretty much every day, and the different kind of recipes for pasta dishes just don’t run out. My favorite being Spaghetti and Meatballs. Now let me stop here and explain that I’m a VERY Picky eater, and the meat has to taste just right for me. Well, beat me with a string of spaghetti, but today I thought I’d make a quick pasta dish for lunch and return to my usual work. I get online, look up a Spaghetti recipe and happen upon your site. To make a long story short, I’ve spent he last two hours shopping for groceries, prepping food (all the while listening to the wonderful Italian music from your download area) and cooking up a dish so awesome I can’t even describe how happy I am about it. ( Hold on, gotta stir the sauce) Glad I checked that cause the meatballs where ready for the sauce. So now my meatballs are in this delicious sauce, just waiting for my wife and I to enjoy. She’ll be home in a few hours, and until then this awesome dish will be slowly cooking to perfection. I just want to thank you and tell you that this is the best S&M ( Spaghetti & Meatballs) recipe I have found so far, and a really big thanks to the music, because I felt like I was in the old country while preparing it, ( which made me very happy). I’ll be passing your site on to as much as I can. Best regards Denni.
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Denni, So glad you like-a da site 🙂 It’s a labor of love of which I am more than happy to share with you. Seems I have interrupted your work today. Oh well.. When one gets good Italian music cranked up, the sauce brewing, the smells, the sounds… Auh, who needs to work anyway! Manja!!!!!!!! EnJoY! “I’m glad your stirring the sauce, this means you are pouring love into the sauce, you are taking care to make a perfect sauce, this is oh so important!” I hope all goes well when the wife gets home. May love abound! Good Italian food (and music) is wonderful for this 🙂 ~ Now be sure to eat at least two plates… I remember when I was a kid at my grandma’s house, if I ate only one plate, she would say “Whadsa-matta-fa-u, you know like-a my cooking? One plate? Your gonna starve, have-a some more!” Who could resist at that point 😉 Have-a some for me! ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony, Your Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe was a complete hit. The lil wife was quite impressed and dinner with chianti and Italian music was great to split up the work-week. Again, thanks and I’ll definitely pass this info around. cheers! Sincerely, Denni.


 

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