Okay, so I have a confession. I made this sauce two weeks ago, typed up the recipe, but couldn't seem to post it. Even though it's a fairly basic recipe, I felt like this was Mema's "secret." However, I started this blog to keep a record of the memories she's made for me and recipes she's given me so time can't steal them away. I've been going back and forth trying to decide what to do when my husband encouraged me to share this recipe.
Mema was famous for her sauce and meatballs. She would typically make them when we were having a family gathering. The smell of it cooking always transports me back in time. After working all afternoon to prepare dinner for us, Pop-Pop would tease Mema by telling everyone that the meal was going to be delicious all because he walked in and stirred it. She would laugh and get so angry with him, as though we really believed his quick stir of the wooden spoon made all the difference.
Mema usually served it with Rigatoni, and I loved how the big, tube-like shape would scoop up so much of her delicious sauce. Mema and Pop-Pop remind me every time I'm making it to use the Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes with basil, so I'll remind you too - "Use the Tuttorosso tomatoes! It's what makes the sauce so good!"
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup wine (white or red)
2 to 3 large cans of Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes with basil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, stirring occasionally, and cook until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, until the garlic begins to brown. Keep an eye on the garlic so it doesn't burn!
- Pour in the wine and allow to simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the cans of sauce, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder. Use a little water to rinse the extra sauce stuck to the sides of the can, and pour into the pot. Stir to mix, cover, and bring to a slow boil. This will happen very quickly, so don't leave the kitchen just yet!
- When the sauce begins to bubble, turn the heat to low and allow to cook for at least 1 hour, but can be left to simmer for a few hours. Be sure to stir the sauce occasionally!