Italian Tomato Sauce
From Donna Hammer
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (28 ounces) Sun of Italy peeled plum tomatoes
3 cans (18 ounces each) tomato paste
4 to 6 country spare ribs
1½ pounds ground round
1½ pounds ground chuck
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Steam spare ribs in medium sauce pan until no longer pink in the middle. Set aside until cool enough to handle, and then finely chop.
In a large stock pot, saute the onion, garlic, and basil in the olive oil. Add liquid from canned tomatoes, then chop and add the tomatoes. Add hot pepper flakes, and simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
Add tomato paste plus 1½ cans of water per paste can. Mix well. You may want to add more water later. Add spare ribs to the sauce, and continue to simmer.
Mix all meatball ingredients. Roll into 1-inch balls and bake on a cookie sheet at 450° F for about 15 minutes. Drain and add to the sauce.
Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce has been simmering for a total of two hours.
Makes 36 servings consisting of ½ cup of sauce and 2 meatballs each.
Note: We put 3 cups of sauce and 12 meatballs in 4-cup storage containers, and freeze them until needed. We use one 4-cup container per pound of pasta.