OK so that title is pretty lame, but I felt “Spaghetti Sauce” was just too boring, so I’m going with it.
When my parents lived in Wichita, Kansas my dad got to know a “true New York Italian” named Craig. Craig apparently moved to Kansas to play football at a Junior college, fell in love, and never went back to the big Apple! He was kind enough to share his family’s “basic” red sauce recipe with my parents and they have been making it ever since!
In my opinion there is nothing basic about it – It is garlicy, cheesy, tomato-y, did I say garlicy? goodness that kicks Italian dishes up a notch.
My parents would make this sauce growing-up with my all-time favorite pork parmesan and since winter is coming (not a Game of Thrones reference, for real winter in MN is coming) I was craving some comfort food.
The beautiful thing about the recipe is that is makes 1 Gallon, so there is so much room for activities!
Italian Red Sauce
– 2 small cans tomato paste
– 4 large cans tomato sauce (28-32 oz.)
– 1/4 to 1/2 Cup oil – vegetable or olive
– 2 heads finely minced garlic
– 1/2 to 3/4 Cup parmesan cheese
– 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Romano cheese
– Oregano or italian season to taste (start with 1 T, then add more if needed)
– 1 Onion – minced
– Soup bones – beef or pork (pork preferred)
1. Heat oil in a large pot
2. Add garlic and stir until garlic begins to brown
3. Add tomato paste and stir until well blended
4. Add tomato sauce and 1 or 2 cans water (it will cook down)
5. Stir in cheese, spices, salt to taste, and onion, then bring to a boil
6. Add soup bones (for flavor) and simmer 4-6 hours on very low heat until sauce has thickened
As you can see from the above, this recipe has a lot of garlic! My parents made it one time in high school and when my sister and I went to school the next day, our lockers stunk-up the whole hallway from our clothes! I would recommend putting your coats outside while making it, especially if you want to avoid embarrassing your kiddos at school 😉
I didn’t have soup bones just laying around, so the night before I made this crockpot pork meal – it was great!
While it was simmering, I also prepped two batches of Eggplant parmesan and two batches of pork parmesan!
Eggplant / Pork Parmesan
There really isn’t a recipe, its super easy.
For the eggplant:
– Cut into 1-inch slices, sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 min. (it removes some of the excess water)
– Wipe the excess off with a paper towel then they are ready to go.
For the pork:
– Pound boneless pork slices so they are very thin
– Mix one-part parmesan cheese to one-part bread crumbs plus add Italian seasoning to taste
– Dip the eggplant/pork in egg then into the parmesan/bread crumb mixture
– Put a little bit of sauce in the bottom of the pan
– Add the pork/eggplant, they layer with mozzarella cheese
– For the eggplant I layered spinach and mozzarella between two slices
– Note one eggplant makes 8 servings stacked two high
Bake the pork for 40 minutes, and the eggplant for 20 minutes at 375 degrees (you can also fry it, I was trying to be healthy 🙂 )
After a Sunday morning I had 4 freezer meals (16 total servings) and a bunch of extra sauce – Thanks Craig!