Sauce Talk 07

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


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Anthony, I wanted to update you on the success of the Thursday night Football Spaghetti dinner we had last week.  There where 40 football players total show up.  I made 3 batches of your sauce.  Rave reviews from hungry players.   I also made the meatballs.  Had to do ten times the meat.  They turned out perfect.  Four packages of sausage in a separate pot too.  We made way too much pasta but that was better than running out.  I could tell how proud my son was of the food.  Best ever at a Thursday night I was told.  I even heard my son to a teammate  “Can you believe my mom isn’t even Italian?” Their paternal Grandma was full Italian from East Boston.  She was a fantastic cook.   I have a couple of pictures of my son making a  batch of sauce and a pan of meatballs cooking.  Some of the guys asked if we could host this week again!!   Thank you again for sharing your recipes with all of us out here!! Anne
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Hi Anne, WoW! Spaghetti dinner for 40 hungry football players! Now there is quite a cooking event! 10 times the meat is a LOT of work! That is a lot of love for your son! You are awesome! Thank you for sharing this! So happy it turned out well. Ciao,  Anthony


Anthony! Just wanted to email you about Malenbon soup! We spell it differently (Molonbon, not sure the correct spelling) but I always would google molonbon to see if something turns up and came across this! Very cool to see other families making the same soup. My grandparents are from Bari but born in Brooklyn, first generations in America. Then my grandparents relocated to California where my grandpa was stationed. I always wondered how this recipe came about, I wasn’t sure if it was just a family thing since I could never find any soup with the same name. Just thought I would mention that! ~ Bretta
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Bretta, Hi, nice to hear from you. Yes, there are not many people who know of this amazing soup by the particular name of Malenbon soup! Only a handful I have come across and in every case their family is from the Bari area in Italy. My grandparents on my mom’s side were both from Santeramo in Colle: Apulia Region (Puglia), 10 Miles south of Bari, Italy. Really does seem this recipe and particularly the name Malenbon soup was very local to the Bari area. Did you see the little historical note I added at the bottom of Melonbon Soup page. I did a lot of digging into the origin of this recipe. Very interesting. Turns out it seems it is an Italian twist on a German recipe. Very interesting! Anyway, this is one of my favorite recipes that my grandmother made. Every time I make it I go back to a simply time when I was a kid in my grandma’s kitchen with no worries. Thanks for sharing and I am glad you found the recipe. Keep on making it! It’s wonderful! Ciao, Anthony?


Hi Anthony! I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed many of your family recipes on your website; I stumbled upon it while doing genealogical research. I found the story of your ancestor Francis Capozzi interesting. My mother was an Italian Catholic (b 1925), born of immigrant parents. She also converted to another faith (Judaism), when she met and married my father (born Jewish). I was raised Jewish but converted to my mom’s birth religion when I was 18 (however I chose traditional Catholicism, not the form of Catholicism that has existed since Vatican II). One thing I have noticed in the course of studying the history of Italian immigrants to this country is that a few of them convert to Protestantism, likely to gain wider societal acceptance and to improve business success. They usually often assimilate and even change their names to “WASP” ones. I have noticed this a few times when studying the history of the late 1800s-early-mid 1900s. It is sad that some felt a need to do that. My mother had an uncle who also did that…he became a “Holy Roller” (her words), moved upstate in PA and married a “medigan” (non Italian) woman. I have often wondered how someone so deeply immersed in their Italian roots could do that. Its a mystery that will probably stay unanswered, since the Italians who used to do that are long gone. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your site and the recipes! Thanks for letting me ramble with my genealogical/ethnic questions, too! ~ Annette
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Hi Annette, I am just noticing I have not responded to your email. I have a long list of emails from he site and i do try to answer them all. I have noticed what you are talking about in regards to Italian immigrating to America and leaving their catholic faith. I think one thing they find, well at least in the case of my great uncle Clement, is they discover Protestantism and find it is not so legalistic as Catholicism. Religion being heavy with lots of rules and based on works vs. relationship with God on a personal level that is more about spending time with Him rather than meeting all the rules and regulations. Not sure if you read it or not but Frances wrote a VERY interesting article about leaving the Catholic church. I found it to be quite revealing in many ways in regards to the hierarchy of the Catholic church. He was a Roman Catholic priest so he did have quite and inside view of the Catholic Church. ~ Anthony


Anthony, Hello my name is Larry Burke. I just had to write to you and thank you for this wonderful recipe. I was surfing around on the net when I happened to come across your recipe for the pasta sauce, meatballs & braciole. I am a very big fan of Italian food. I decided to cook Easter dinner for my whole family. Instead of making a traditional Easter dinner I decided to try your recipe and I am so very glad I did. The easy to follow directions are so terrific and you really have a knack with wording the recipe in a way that really makes the hard work so much fun. The greatest thing to me about this whole experience was the great quality time preparing this meal gave me with my family. I work allot of long hours at my job so sometimes quality family time is hard to come by. I started by downloading the Italian Music as you suggested. My 3 year old son loved it. He had me up dancing with him and really had a ball. After our trip to pick up all the ingredients needed for the recipe we got home and turned our Italian Background music on and began working on the preparation of the Meal. I cannot believe how much fun we all had making this dinner. It is a whole lot of work, but so well worth it. Even my son had a ball helping to make the dinner. I would have to say that the hardest part of making the dinner consisted of waiting for the finished product He-he-he. I even threw the bay leaf over my shoulder and tried to hit the pot. (I made it both times by the way) If you are wondering what I mean by both times, I actually made a double batch of the sauce. I followed the directions to a T, so I made 2 separate batches of the sauce. I made the second batch after I tasted the end product. I thought it was so delicious and everyone agreed. I made the second batch so that there would be plenty left for everyone to be able to take some sauce and throw it in the freezer for later. Anyways, Again I just want to thank you again. This has been the most fun I ever had working so hard on cooking a meal. I can’t even begin to tell you how much the quality time with my family meant to me today. It’s something that I will cherish for a very long time. I am working 60+ hrs. A week at my job plus I am also a full time student working on my Masters Degree in Business so these times are few and far between. I am sure that the rest of my family will enjoy the meal just as much as we did sampling it. I bet it will taste even better tomorrow. I will let you know what my family thinks of the dinner. Sincerely, ~ Larry (Peoria, Illinois)
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Hi Larry, HAPPY EASTER!!!!!! Thanks for the lovely letter 🙂 Glad you had a good time with the recipe. Italian cooking does bring the family together. It was always a family event when I was growing up. Everyone helped cook and the process took all day! I remember those weekends at my grandmas house smelling the sauce all day. It was always a good time. Well have a great Easter meal today and tell everyone Anthony said hi 😉 Anthony


Anthony, A couple of days ago, I made your spaghetti sauce, with pork chops, meatballs and Braciole, too. Wow, it was definitely the best sauce in the world! It was so good! My husband just loved it like crazy. When I was making the sauce, he smelled it once and he just couldn’t forget that lovely smell all day during his work. He even skipped his dinner and waited till I was off from work (almost 11:30pm) to make him the spaghetti. He said it was the best sauce he had ever tasted, even better than those eaten in 5-star hotels. I was so happy! Thank you dearly for your wonderful recipe and the way you’re putting it. It is the most detailed recipe I have ever seen. It was just like you’re here teaching me beside me. I have never made any spaghetti sauce before and this is my first time, and it was such a success! Everyone in my family loved it very very much. I must thank you again for sharing this recipe. Here are some photos for sharing. I love Italian food, especially spaghetti and Risotto. Now I have the best recipe for spaghetti, I should be glad if you would also share some good recipes for making Risotto. We’ll be eating your spaghetti sauce with pork chops, meatballs and Braciole for the rest of our life! Thank you so much indeed! ~ Best regards, Jo Ng.
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Jo, Glad to be of service 🙂 Yes the recipe is a lot of work, but oh so worth the effort! Great Italian food has a way of making husbands happy 😉 Thanks for the photos! I will be adding these to my site if that’s ok with you. I may be adding a section to the site where I will present photos that visitors have sent me of their Italian culinary experience. I have several visitors whom have already sent me photos. Great fun getting these! Nice to see people hard at work in the kitchen creating lovely Italian food and the fruits of their labors, the finished product!!! Yum! So nice to sit down and enjoy the meal after working so hard all day on the Italian treats. Well, happy cooking and thanks for the good feedback, nice to know the hard work put into creating a step by step detailed recipe for all to enjoy is paying off. ~8-) Anthony
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Anthony, I’m so happy to have received your mail. I’ll be so glad if you would add my photos to your website. I think this is the most encouraging news to visitors, especially to those who love cooking. Just imagine seeing photos of our own cooking in the web! It’s really cool! I’m from Hong Kong, a small place, but a gourmet paradise where you can enjoy cuisine of all over the world. I have introduced your website to those of my friends who love cooking and eating. All of them praised you highly and said you are the most amazing chef giving us the best recipes through the most detailed illustration. I received lots of good comments from those who have the luck to taste my spaghetti. We really love your recipe. My family and friends yelled loudly for more, so I had to make some more meatballs and braciole to add to the sauce to fill their appetite. I don’t know if this would affect the taste. But anyway, I made more meatballs and braciole and added to the leftover sauce and cooked for 1-1/2 hour. I let it sit on the stove overnight. When I served it the next day, it tasted as good as the first pot. I also made your garlic bread, and it was really good! I won so many plaudits for my hard work and I was really overwhelmed with joy! (I keep wearing that triumphal smiling face these days!) You see, that’s the fun of cooking. You put in a lot of hard work and you can never be sure of how it comes out. Then it comes the most exciting part – you serve you food and wait anxiously for comments. It feels so good if people loved your food and asked for more. My husband stilled asked for more even if he had already eaten it for three consecutive days! I’m so happy and for the first time in my life, I feel myself really cooking! Thank you very much indeed for giving me this wonderful experience. My friends even urged me to take photos of the making-of. So, here are more photos for sharing. ~ Happy cooking! ; – ) Jo
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Hi Jo, Thanks so much for more photos 🙂 Was going to tell you that I finished adding a section for visitors photos. I have the first set of photos you gave me here: looks great! 🙂 Yes, the joy of cooking and putting all that hard work and love into the food is to have family and friends LOVE it and want more! That is the reward! I grew up in an Italian family and I remember my grandmother, Anna Salerno, she was from Italy, she would cook ALL the time. I remember if you did not ask for a second plate of her wonderful food she would say, “Whats-a-matta-fa-you, you know like-a da food?”, so when at an Italian’s house ALWAYS ask for seconds, they will love you for it 😉 ~8-) Anthony
P.S. Just saw the photos 🙂 Great! Glad you threw in a photo of you frying the meatballs, will definitely add that to the site. One thing, I noticed you using gloves when diggin’ into the meatball mix, now the “real” Italian way is to “get those hands dirty!” just dig right in, no gloves. He he he. Well that’s how my grandma did it so that’s how I do it 😉
*You can see the photos that Jo sent in on the Visitors Photo Page.


Anthony, Today my wife and mother-in-law made your Spaghetti Sauce, Meatballs & Braciole recipe including the pork chops. It was the best I have ever tasted. I love food and rate this as one of the absolute best things I have ever had. Kiss all your female relatives who taught you this and drink a glass or two of wine for me. I can’t wait till this stuff is frozen and actually gets better!!!!! That would almost make it sinful. 🙂 Now I need to go take a nap cause my belly’s so full and happy. They cooked and listened to Italian music all day. They said the music definitely helped!!!! Sincerely, Jonathan & Jill and Taze & Connie p.s. My wife wonders if you buy your beef for the Braciole already tenderized so that it’s thin enough to wrap? She said her’s seemed thicker than the pictures online. Also do you buy seven round steaks or is it just one cut and pounded into seven strips?
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Jonathan, Jill, Taze, Connie, Glad you guys had a good time with the recipe. Italian cooking is not just cooking, it’s an event! Yes, the music I find enhances the experience greatly 🙂 In regards to kissing all the female relatives that helped me with this recipe, I would have to hop on a plane and cross the east coast a couple of times to make this happen ;-). I love them all dearly! “They cooked and listened to Italian music all day.” – Auh, just like the old days. A good Italian dinner starts early in the day and is meant to be savored throughout the day. You need to smell that sauce cooking for hours, the smell needs to thoroughly permeate the entire house prior to actually eating it. To make it complete you need a lot of loud relatives over who like to all talk at once, pass the braciole please! What? I said pass the Braciole! And then everybody needs to lie down somewhere and nap! Speaking of Braciole, no I don’t buy it pre-tenderized. I get it sliced from the butcher man (they hide in the back of grocery stores, you have to ring little bell to get them to come out of their hiding place), I tell them to cut the meat in 1/4″ slices then I take it home and pound the heck out of ’em! Hint… secret grandma hint alert!!!! Before pounding the meat, marinate the meat slices in olive oil and chopped garlic.. ssssh, tell no one! Well, happy cooking and give all the family a big goumba hug for me and maybe a little pinch on the cheek 🙂 ~8-) Anthony


Anthony, My mother is not superstitious; according to her. As she got older, the acid from the tomatoes in the sauce was hard on her stomach. Mrs. Petrangelo (my grandma’s friend) told my Mom the solution. Put a whole unpeeled carrot into your sauce when starting to simmer it. When the sauce is thickened to your liking; turn it off. Immediately you MUST remove the carrot from the sauce with 2 wooden spoons (these MUST be wooden spoons). You MUST not put the carrot down on anything during this process. The carrot goes right from the sauce ; into the spoons ; into a brown paper bag (MUST be a brown paper bag) . Immediately you must take the brown paper bag and put it into the garbage can OUTSIDE (not the garbage in the house ; you can’t put it into the household garbage and then take the household garbage out). Now remember, my MOM is not superstitious. Right! You will NEVER get my MOM to put the carrot down , use a white paper bag , put the brown paper bag (with the carrot in it) in the household garbage or put the bag down during any part of this process . Thank GOD my MOM is not superstitious!!!, things like this is a part of the mystique of Italian cooking. I’m sure …somehow it adds to the flavor….. not the carrot….. the process!!!! My MOM is so darn cute when she’s doing this. She’s got this cute little smile on her face while “doing the carrot thing” . She knows it’s B.S> …….but she just can’t put that carrot down!! ~ Bill
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LOL!! Bill, this is great! I know exactly what you mean.. It’s not the carrot that makes it taste better, IT’S THE PROCESS! It’s all about tradition and THE WAY IT’S DONE” that makes it all taste better and ALWAYS enhances the experience to something so memorable that the memory itself is more powerful than the good food, but when you take the amazing memories and tie it together with the good food.. Oh Momma Mia!!! Nothing can compare! Thanks for sharing. This is so Italian; my grandmother had some “non-superstitious” things she did too! ~8-) Anthony
P.S. Your email prompted me to ask my mom about any specific quarks my grandma might have had during cooking.. Below is her response from this morning. Great stuff! 🙂 Auuuh the memories…
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*From my mom. I had to share Bill’s story with her and this is her response: “Anthony, I LOVE that story. Grandma Salerno did have a few “quirks”. First of all before using, she would thoroughly wash the cans of tomatoes and tomato paste. She then would wash the can opener and when these two things were done she would then open the cans. She was concerned about any flake of dust getting into her sauce. You know, grandma never called it sauce it was always called “gravy”. After opening the cans she would again wash the can opener and then pour the contents into the pot. She and Grandpa were always concerned for the safety of the garbage collectors so grandma would give grandpa the used cans and he would flatten them with the lid inside so the garbage men would not cut themselves on any sharp edges. They were so sweet and thoughtful. Grandpa would wait patiently with a small plate in his hand while grandma browned the meatballs. It was a tradition for him to get 3 meatballs served to him to snack on before they all went into the pot. You know, I am just like grandpa; I have to have my 3 browned meatballs while I make my sauce. Grandma and grandpa had a small garden out back and when the fresh tomatoes and basil were in season, there was no opening of cans. All fresh ingredients went into the sauce. Of course the washing of the tomatoes and basil was another whole process, lovely memories. That generation believed food was love and if you loved your family, you prepared the most delicious food for them and always sat at the table together to enjoy it. After each great meal, grandpa would always say “Anna, to-morrow, you don’t have to cook” Of course to-morrow always came, and he would say “what are you fixing”? Until very late in life, grandma shopped in several different stores for her fixins. There was the chicken and eggs store, the store you went to for the great cheese, the special bakery for bread, the butcher shop for the best meats and so forth. It was an exhausting process. By the way, Uncle Philip still operates in that fashion. He drives 20 miles just to get the perfect sausage. haha ~ MoM”


Hey! I just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for your Spaghetti Sauce recipe! It was truly amazing! The directions were superb and my sauce turned out awesome the first time. I was looking around the web for some ideas for sauce cause spaghetti is my favorite. I found a bunch of small ones that I was going to try instead of yours, but I figured the ‘big’ one would probably be the best so I put in the time and effort and boy was I rewarded. Kudos to you and thanks again. ~ Trevor, Vancouver B. – PS: What type of consistency am I ultimately looking for? The sauce thickened quite nicely after sitting for a day, but I just wanted to be sure, cause it’s not as thick as store bought stuff and I was wondering if it turned out correct. No worries though – it’s still the best sauce I’ve ever had!… Damn! I forgot to comment on the meatballs! They were sooooo good and the chops! Like none I have ever had before! I will be making this weekly until I die! Thanx spaghetti man!
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Trevor, I’m so glad you took the effort to make the sauce. It is worth the effort for sure! I have tried many sauces and this recipe is still my favorite, well I am a little bias since it’s the sauce I grew up with, but hey, it’s a good-a Sauce!!! I think you where wise to choose the large detailed recipe. Ya a lot of work, but anything worth while does take some effort. The consistency you described is about right. It won’t be as thick as the store bought stuff, but then again the store bought stuff is “NOT” real Italian sauce. I don’t think it can even be compared to a good homemade sauce made with sweet and love! :)) The consistency you want to avoid is watery. Here is an example. When your sauce is finished or when you think it is finished, get a small plate, mix the sauce up real good and put about 4 table spoons full of sauce on the plate and wait about 5 minutes or so, then look at the sauce. If you see clear water on the edges of the sauce (about 1/8″ rim of water), then the sauce is still not thick enough, so then you just cook it some more… The consistency does get a lot better if you make the sauce a day before, preferably the night before, stick the pan with the sauce and the cover on it in the fridge (let the sauce cool down before you do this), then the next day when you are going to have you big dinner heat it up again uncovered about an hour before the dinner, keep the heat low. This will also get that nice sauce smell in the house which is so nice :)) Hmmm… I’m making myself hungry! ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony! My name is Christine and I was on the internet today looking for a spaghetti sauce recipe. I found yours and went right to Tops for the ingredients! I’ve never made sauce from scratch before and thought it would be a nice change. We eat spaghetti a lot, but let me tell you…there will be no more Ragu and Prego for us!! That sauce is wonderful!!! I just finished it about a half hour ago and can’t wait until I come home from work tomorrow to eat it! (I already snuck 3 meatballs!) Thank you SO much for this wonderful recipe! ~ Christine
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Christine, I’m sooo glad to see you will not be using Ragu and Prego anymore… That stuff is just not spaghetti sauce… Not the real thing anyway, there is no comparison to homemade sauce, as I see you found out :). I certainly know what you mean about sneaking 3 meatballs.. Sometimes I double the batch of meatballs just so I can eat 4 or 6 just after the sauce is done, you know just to make sure the sauce tastes just write before anyone else eats it 😉 I great to share this recipe with one who can appreciate it’s value. Well, happy cooking, make sure you try to make the Braciole.. It’s worth it and improves on the sauce as well. ~8-) Anthony


Anthony, I have been searching all afternoon for a good recipe and I am sooo excited to try yours. Thanks for all the helpful hints and detailed instructions, I will definetely need them. I have a couple of questions – I have just grown some fresh tomatoes in my garden and I was wondering if I could use those for your recipe. Also, I live alone and tend to just cook for myself, or maybe one other person. How do I store the sauce that I don’t eat? Should I put it in the freezer? I would like to put it in smaller “one person” size containers and freeze, so I could eat it during the week when I get home from work. Thank you so much, I never had any grandparents to show me this stuff, and I’m trying to learn on my own, so it means a lot to me to have someone put all this work into it – it feels like you are right here with me coaching me along! Thanks, ~ Laura Egler
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Laura, First of all let me say, I’m glad to see all my hard work of laying out this recipe in fine detail being put to good use. I love to hear from people who are actually following the recipe. It is so designed that if you follow it carefully you will come out with a wonderful spaghetti sauce Every time! :)) I originally put this sauce page up on the web for my Dad who Always wanted to make his mother-in-laws (my grandma) sauce, but he can’t cook a thing!.. So on day when I was cooking the sauce like I always do I decided to write down every single step.. witch turned out to be a LOT more work than I thought, but I finally got it all spelled out for my dad in a way that was easy enough for him to follow. He read the recipe and got it right on the first try! A man that could not cook a thing cooking a wonderful Sunday afternoon spaghetti sauce.. Amazing!

Well to answer some of your questions:
1.) Can I use my garden fresh tomatoes in the sauce?
Yes you can, but I would not make the whole sauce from the tomatoes. You could ad 1 or 2 tomatoes to the sauce to get a fresher taste to it. If you are going to add the tomatoes do the following. You will first need to blanch the tomatoes. Boil some water and then drop in 1 or 2 tomatoes in the boiling water and let sit for about 5 seconds then quickly take them back out of the water, let cool for a minute and then peal off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove all the seeds. (seeds make the sauce bitter, you don’t want to add any seeds to your sauce). Then dice up the tomatoes and add them to your sauce early on in the cooking process so they get a chance to cook down a bit.

2.) How do I store the sauce that I don’t eat?
After you have finished the sauce go ahead and just let it sit there while your enjoying your meal, this will allow it to cool a bit. What I recommend is using jelly jars or canning jars a quart or smaller. Poor the sauce into the jars leaving about 1″ of space at the top of the jar (you want to have some room for the sauce to expand while it freezes. As far as the Meatballs and Braciole go (if you have any left… these usually go quickly), you will want to freeze those separately. Take the meatballs and Braciole out of the sauce and put them on a plate. Get a cookie sheet and some wax paper. Put 1 sheet of wax paper on the cookie sheet and put the meatballs and braciole on top of the wax paper being sure not to let any of them touch each other… no touchy while freezing… 😉 This will allow them to freeze and not stick to each other. Let them freeze for about an 1-1/2 hours. After they have frozen then you can take them out of the freezer and put them together in one container or several containers. No that they are frozen it’s safe to freeze them together. (you do all this to prevent the meatballs and braciole from fusing together during the freezing process). ~ Then when you are ready to reheat take out the Jar of sauce and the container of meatballs and or barcarole and put them on a plate on your counter.. take the lids off and put a kitchen towel over the containers and plate. I recommend doing this before you go to work, so when you get home everything is well thawed out and ready to quickly heat up. 🙂 Well, I hope you enjoyed the sauce..? Let me know how it came out. ~8-) Anthony


Anthony, Thanks for the neat cookie recipe. The Hamburger Helper I have set out for this evening is as Italian as I can get today, but I do plan on saving these recipes and having a special feast for my family. We did have lasagna for Thanksgiving. An Early Merry Christmas, ~ Nancy Meyer
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Nancy, Glad you like the recipe.. I do hope you find the time to make these recipe’s.. You’ll be glad you did 🙂 – lasagna for Thanksgiving – Now that’s my kind of Thanksgiving!!! Cia, ~8-) Anthony


Anthony, I tried the recipe for the sauce, meatballs and braciola. It came out deliciosa. I will definitely continue to use this recipe. Thanks so much. Also, the instructions were a breeze to follow, you were very specific. I enjoyed the way you put everything together. Thanks again. ~ FATGRANNY
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FATGRANNY, Glad to be of Service.. Enjoy!!! I spent a lot of time trying to make this an easy recipe to follow and I’m glad to see that it’s working :)) Ciao ~8-) Anthon


Anthony, Had to drop you a line. We have been making your sauce faithfully for over a year now and haven’t had anything to compare anywhere! When I say faithfully, a batch might last the 2 of us a month at most. We make the next batch as soon as the last is finished! We also think the meatballs are equally wonderful. We have not yet tried the braciole(?) but intend to do so. We live near Hershey Pennsylvania which has a strong Italian population with 3 or 4 well know Italian restaurants(for the area). 1 or 2 have been around for 30+ years. We think “your” sauce is even better than those places. Looking forward to your recipe for garlic bread. We have our own version and will be anxious to find out how it compares! BTW – neither my wife or myself have a drop of italian blood in us! ha Thanks again for providing that incredible recipe! ~ Caren & Brian – Dillsburg, PA
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Caren & Brain, WoW!.. What a compliment.. I’m glad to see my family’s recipe being appreciated. It’s the best sauce I have ever eaten, but then I’m, bias.. it’s what I grew up with…. how can anyone compete with that. ;)..  Sorry I have not yet put up the Garlic bread recipe … Been busy, busy, busy.. I do plan on getting many more recipes on this site when I get time to write them all down. I think the next recipe will be Eggplant… I also want to get a bunch of pictured on this site giving helpful photos during the process of making the photo, but I have to remember to have a camera handy when I make the sauce and I keep forgetting to do that.. Well one day maybe. Also, it’s great to see people without any Italian blood in them making great Italian sauce :)))   Happy Cooking… ~8-) Anthony


Dear Anthony, I’m going to try your recipe this weekend for my family so I will email how it turns out, I’m very impressed that you included so much information so that each step is perfect. I also was wondering what you think is the best way to re-heat pasta with out using the microwave. I use different things such as heating it up again once I finish the sauce by putting the pasta into the sauce,or pouring hot water over the pasta..what do you recommend that looks more professional. Any tips are welcome thanks. ~ Katt
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Katt, The best way I know of to reheat leftover pasta is as follows: If there is some pasta left over (which I don’t know why there would be because the sauce is so good), I usually put the leftover pasta in a bowl and add just a little bit of sauce to it, mix the sauce in well with the pasta, just enough to help keep the pasta a little wet while in the frig. [I don’t recommend freezing leftover pasta – Reheat the pasta with in about two days or forget it]. Then when you want to reheat the pasta – boil a pot of water, when the water comes to a bowl poor in the leftover pasta – the water might get a little messy from the little bit of sauce you stored with the pasta but who cares.. Boil the pasta for about 2 minutes.. just enough to reheat it, then strain just as you would new pasta… (by the way – although this is not to Italian – you can reheat leftover rice the same way..) I hope this helps… ~8-) Anthony
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Hi Anthony, This is Katt again to tell you your recipe turned out perfect and I must say it was great to see a recipe turn out exactly like its supposed to. Everyone wanted the recipe and couldn’t stop commenting how rich and delicious the sauce was. I must thank you and tell you to keep it up, maybe even a cook book I will certainly buy a copy. I will tell others of your great recipe (that actually works)!!! Again, Thanks… ~ Katt


Dear Anthony, God bless, you, my good man. Man, it’s fun reading about good food and cooking good food and eating good food . . . Mario Lanza was my dad’s favorite, too. I haven’t made the sauce, meatballs and braciole yet, but I read through “la recetta” and it sounds great. Just like Nona’s. I, too, am a BIG Filipio Berio fan; one of the clerk’s at Lucia’s Italian Deli said, “Oh, yeah, well, you can use the Sun of Italy oil, and it’s just the same.” Oh, no. I do like the Sun of Italy crushed tomatoes [or Sole d’Italia], too. I don’t know if that’s a brand local to Maryland or not, but you might want to try their stuff if you can get your hands on it. OK, I have a question. I’ve got a cast iron-coated with enamel pot that I paid a lot of money for, but when I make sauce, it sticks to the bottom EVERY TIME. I’ve got an old Farberware pot that my Aunt Betty gave me, and it works great for sauce. It makes me mad, though, and I keep trying the Le Creuset pot, but I keep going back to the ol’ Farberware. For meatballs, have you ever used oats instead of wheat bread? Someone told me (Siciliana, I think she was) that oats are good. I tend to use Progresso Italian bread crumbs. For braciole, my mom used to put hard boiled eggs on the inside, and I thought it was gross. I’m going to try your recipe, because it sounds a lot better. Hey, did you see that episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” where his wife, Deborah, made the braciole that was out of this world, and everyone loved her? I think it might have been your recipe . . . Thanks a bunch. I’m looking forward to eating this [I’m doing Weight Watchers, for obvious reasons, but I’ll take a night off for this. Besides, the fat is GOOD fat — makes you smile, makes families eat together — what’s not to love? ~ Guido
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Dear Guido,  I’m glad you like the recipe…. I’m glad to be able to share it with one who can appreciate it… Let me know when you make the Sauce, Meatballs and Brichiole.. I’d love to know how it came out and if your family enjoyed it!! It’s great to share good food!! I’m pretty stuck on “Big Filipeo” olive oil.. Don’t think I’ll try something new for a while.. In regards to your question about the Cast Iron pot… Not worth trying to make sauce or balls in… it’s just not slippery enough!!! Stick with the Farberware or some other non-stick type pan for the Meatballs and a Nice sauce pan with a THICK bottom for the sauce.. I never like cooking with the Cast Iron pans.. Just my opinion.. Have not tried the oats in the Meatballs yet, but I might give that a try one of these Sundays… Progresso Bread Crumbs..!! No.. No… You have to use fresh Wheat Bread – it’s nice and gummy when you get it wet and acts like a glue that hold all the meat together when your trying to brown the balls… Oh.. and be sure to use FRESH Parsley as well… With the Progresso bread crumbs.. you could be using bread that’s months or even years old… Auuuh!.. Keep your ingredient fresh.. It makes a huge difference… Boiled eggs in Briciole…. Yep, that’s gross.. lol… <> I have to see this “Everybody Lovers Raymond” episode. I keep getting email about it.. <> Yes I agree, this recipe has GOOD FAT – the kind that makes your smile and makes families eat together.. Could not have said it better myself!!! Thanks for the feedback and I hope you give the recipe a try.    ~ Enjoy the Good Fat…… Ciao ~8-) Anthony


Anthony: I made your recipe this past weekend & it was GREAT!!!!! I’m born & raised in the Italian borough of NYC–Brooklyn & finally found a sauce recipe I really love on your web page. So thanks & by the way I have family living in NC now. They live in Raleigh and I was there last July for my sister & brother in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary. I really like your state. Thanks again ~ Betty
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Betty, Glad you like the recipe. I’m honored that a person born and raised in the Italian borough of NYC–Brooklyn likes the sauce.. That’s a real compliment I know, because I have had some very good Italian food from that area in the past. I myself was born and raised in Massachusetts and grew up with some excellent Italian cooking.!!!! I have definitely not found that kind of food in NC, so I’m left to cook it up myself. he he he… ~8-) Anthony


Dear Anthony, I don’t know if this is going to the right person, but I just saved “Anthony’s Spaghetti & Meat Balls” (with Mario Lanza singing in the background. What a fun and wonderful sounding recipe. Thank you! ~ Chris In Texas
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Chris, Yep… you got the right person. This is Anthony. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe and the site, thanks for the kind words. I hope you take time to make the recipe, you will be glad you did and you might find out just how easy it is to make great sauce!!! Enjoy! P.S. – If you do make the recipe, please drop me a line and let me know how it came out. ~8-) Anthony


Dear Anthony, T’was the best sauce I’ve ever had! The recipe is fun and my family loves it. Am having ten people over this week and will serve the recipe doubled, so I make sure I have leftovers. Thank you for making it available. ~ Brian
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Brian, Glad to be of service. I love sharing good food and it’s nice when you have good friends and family to share it with. Tell the family Anthony said Hello… 🙂 ~8-) Anthony


Hi Anthony, You’re absolutely right about the Braciolle disappearing first! We’re looking forward to trying your Eggplant Recipe and Manicotti Recipe as soon as you make them available. We believe that our love of food gives a starting point to a common bond among all people. Again, thank you for your letter Anthony. We’ve been trying to fine-tune an Osso Bucco recipe for little over a year, and as soon as we come up with something that we can brag about, I’ll be certain to send it your way via email, and perhaps you can improve on it even further and share it with others. Enjoy your family, friends, and your lives together, ~ Vince
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Vince, I will try to remember to email when I get the new recipe up on the site. The problem is good italian cooking has no written down recipes. I have to remember next time I make the Eggplant and Manicotti to write down the whole process similar to how I wrote down the sauce recipe. I know how to make all this stuff, but it’s in my head. I just have to get it out of my head into a written form. I made the Eggplant just about two weeks ago and totally forgot to write it down. Anyway, keep checking the site from time to time and eventually it will be there. 🙂 ~8-) Anthony
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Hi Anthony, Thanks for trying to remember to email your new recipe to us! I know EXACTLY what you mean about not having any written down recipes. I mean, the stuff I cook now did start from a recipe I originally followed, but as my tastes alters the original recipe over time, it eventually gets to a point that I wouldn’t even know what the original recipe called for.(providing the original recipe was only so-so) And I guess I cook just like you. My so called recipes are in my head kinda. I just cook by smell, look and taste, with no clue on just how many tsp. or tbs. I actually used. That’s probably gonna be your biggest challenge when you start writing down your family recipes. Because you’re going to need to quantify the measurements and procedures. Oh, I did order gnocchi a few times in restaurants before, but they never really seemed to get my attention too much. It was definitely the sauce because I liked the texture of the gnocchi. With that, I’ll keep checking your site for updates. ~ Vince


Anthony, I love to make different sauces for pasta. I found your recipe to be something quite similar to the one that I make. The “basic Sunday dinner” sauce. I haven’t made yours yet, but I was wondering when you make “your” meatballs, did you ever use ground pork as well as ground chuck?? Usually 1/2 lb. of pork to every 1lb. of chuck. That gives the meatballs a ton of flavor. I was surprised that you used dark wheat bread as opposed to Italian bread for the balls. Personally, I use a TON of Romano as opposed to Parmesan cheese. I only really use Parmesan for Risotto. In our family we make a “tomato paste” sauce and also a “mint” sauce. They are outrageous. The tomato paste sauce we usually make for X-mas eve with a nice linguini. Very simple to make and extremely fabulous. It’s also good with anything that has ricotta, i.e., ravioli, manicotti, etc. All you do is you saute garlic (lots of it) in olive oil. The olive oil is at least 1 inch up the side of the pot. A lot of olive oil. You saute the garlic, add 6 (small) cans of paste. Stir until the paste has absorbed most of the olive oil. It takes some time. We always sprinkle paprika on our paste because our aunts tell us that it helps the oil rise to the top. Then you add maybe 3 or 4 small cans of tomato sauce. Stir, when the oil rises to the top, its done. Of course, you add some salt and white pepper while the sauce is cooking. It is unbelievable. As far as the mint sauce, take your sauce and instead of adding the basil, add a generous amount of fresh and dried mint leaves. What a sauce. It’s wonderful especially during the summer when you have barbecues and out comes the rigatoni with this amazing refreshing sauce. Try it and thanks for your recipe. I will be making your sauce Sun. morning. ~ Annie
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Annie, Thanks for all the neat cooking tips.. I will have to try it out.. I’ll let you know how it comes out… Did you get a chance to make my recipe yet? Just curious to see how it came out for you. Have a great day!! And happy cooking…. ~8-) Anthony


Anthony, All I have to say is WOW!!! I just finished reading Anthony’s Sauce and Meatball recipe and I can’t believe my eyes!!!! What I was taught to make growing up in an Italian family who had sauce every Sunday afternoon is very, very close your family’s recipe. My recipe is a combination of My mother’s and my Grandfather’s. A little trick from her and a little trick from him. I myself love to cook and to see other people enjoy it makes all the work well worth it!!! I have people ask me if they give me money, would I make a batch of sauce for them. But, we both know it’s a lot of work and a lot of love going into it. So now, I have become an expert at making two huge pots of meatballs and sauce at the same time. One pot is usually owned by someone other then a family member and the other pot of sauce is for my family. I just can’t believe you had the patience to get it all on paper. I try to explain to people the recipe, but they can never get it to taste like mine. I usually season as it simmers for a couple of hours and keep adding spices as I taste it in between stirs. The one thing different about our recipes is that I add country style pork ribs to the sauce raw once I get it simmering. They cook right in the sauce and add so much flavor. When all is done,..the meat falls apart and is very tender. The other thing is with the meatballs…..I fry them in olive oil to brown and throw them in the pot to cook the rest of the way, and I also add parm. cheese into the sauce. But other then that,…..you got it right on the money!! I just have to commend you on getting it all on “paper”. My regards to you and your family, ~ Joyce
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Joyce, Yes… Getting it all on paper was quite a challenge and took a LOT of effort! I originally did all this for my Dad who always wanted to be able to make his mother-in law’s sauce (my Grandma) but was not very good at cooking, so I told him I would write it all down, step by step were even he could cook it…. And it worked!! This first time he made it it came out just like he remembered.. :)) I put the recipe on the web so it would be easy for him to access it and whala! A web site that people can actually use.. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to the site.. If you get time be sure to check out the Peseta Bars!!! They are AWESOME!!! And a family tradition.. 🙂 More recipe’s coming soon.. Just have to remember to write them all down one day… I’m just sooo busyyyy….. ~8-) Anthony


Dear Anthony: I want to say how much I liked your web site. I have been looking for a recipe for braciole for a while now. Mom, dad and grandparents are gone. Being of the Italian decent (on dad’s side) I was always ashamed that I couldn’t make a good sauce. I plan on trying your recipe this weekend. My question to you is….. what is the total cooking time for the sauce? That is the only thing that seems unclear to me. Thanks to the polish side of the family (mom) I can make potato dumplings and sweet and sour cabbage, I make a mean meat loaf, now hopefully I can add just the right pasta sauce. ~ Thank you, Karen – Lancaster NY
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Karen, Glad to share the braciole recipe with you… I have added the overall cooking time onto the site for you. Let me know how the braciole came out… I would like to try your recipe for Potato dumplings… Send it on over to me when you get time, I would love to try it out… Well, gotta run. Happy Cooking. ~8-) Anthony


Hello Anthony, I love your pasta sauce. I want to make it for a big dinner for about 25 of my friends. Could you please give me the amounts of ingredients that I will need for that amount of people? I just need the sauce. ~ Thanks, Tommie
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Tomiie, What I recommend is make the sauce as I have it on the recipe, then freeze it. And do that (3) times. This will give you (3) pots of Sauce. I recommend doing this a couple days ahead of time. Then, when your ready for the 25 people, take out the frozen sauce the night before. just leave it on the counter over night. Then in the morning just heat up all the sauce.. You would need one VERY large pan if you want to heat it all up in (1) sauce pan. However this would be the best for flavor… Mixing all (3) pots of sauce together and heating it all up at once in the same pot… Would get much better flavor that way… But if not just heat up your (3) pots of sauce and while heating up these pots mix the sauce together…. Get a measuring cup and start transferring cups of sauce from one pot to the other, this will give you a uniformed taste throughout all (3) pots of sauce.. Good luck and Enjoy!!! Anthony
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Tomiie, I have a quick revision on the info for freezing the sauce…Talked to my mother in-law last month and learned a valuable tip. These direction are for freezing in small containers, but you can modify it to work with a large container as well: After you have finished the sauce go ahead and just let it sit there while your enjoying your meal, this will allow it to cool a bit. What I recommend is using jelly jars or canning jars a quart or smaller. Poor the sauce into the jars leaving about 1″ of space at the top of the jar (you want to have some room for the sauce to expand while it freezes. As far as the Meatballs and Braciole go (if you have any left… these usually go quickly), you will want to freeze those separately. Take the meatballs and Braciole out of the sauce and put them on a plate. Get a cookie sheet and some wax paper. Put 1 sheet of wax paper on the cookie sheet and put the meatballs and braciole on top of the wax paper being sure not to let any of them touch each other… no touchy while freezing… 😉 This will allow them to freeze and not stick to each other. Let them freeze for about an 1-1/2 hours. After they have frozen then you can take them out of the freezer and put them together in one container or several containers. No that they are frozen it’s safe to freeze them together. (you do all this to prevent the meatballs and braciole from fusing together during the freezing process). ~ Then when you are ready to reheat take out the Jar of sauce and the container of meatballs and or barcarole and put them on a plate on your counter.. take the lids off and put a kitchen towel over the containers and plate. I recommend doing this before you go to work, so when you get home everything is well thawed out and ready to quickly heat up. 🙂 Ciao ~8-) Anthony


Dear Anthony, I wanted to know if the meatballs would turn out just as good if I made them with a slice of Italian bread instead of the wheat bread. Not too many in my family like wheat bread and they would notice the difference. I would appreciate it if you would write me back. Thank you. ~ Sincerely, Marylou
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Marylou, Even if people in your family don’t like wheat bread, I do still recommend using the wheat bread in the Meatballs. The wheat bread gives the meatballs a little hardier taste and a little stronger texture. It’s hard to describe, but I have heard many comments from those who used Italian White bread in their meatballs and then tried the recipe with the Wheat bread and they all said they like it better.. and then again it’s what I grew up with so I’m a little bias in that regards… 😉 I suggest trying it with both and let yourself be the judge of that one.. (and please let me know what the final outcome of that is – which you like better?) I don’t think it will make a huge different in the overall flavor, but I do think it does make a different in the overall texture of the balls… I hope that helps.. Enjoy the recipe!!! I know I do :))) Cia, ~8-) Anthony



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