My dad was a great cook!

My dad was a great cook! My mother was absolutely DREADFUL in the kitchen! She got better over time, but she had no flare for discovery, invention and no sense of why baking soda was NOT a good substitute for baking powder in a pancake recipe!

My father taught me to cook. He would come home (he worked just down the street and was the factory manager) when I got out of school and would give instructions on supper for the evening. He’d tell me what things to try in different kinds of soups or sauces, and he loved to feed others! In fact, when he retired and moved away, family, friends and neighbors would ask for his baked beans (they were MARVELOUS) or pea soup or meat pies or meatballs whenever he visited.

Certain foods remind me of my dad – meatballs (my best friend in college dubbed them Killer Meatballs – a major compliment from an Italian girl!) being one of the best. The recipe I use is adapted from my dad’s experiments in making the best meatballs ever.  It brings back memories of love and home and laughter. And my husband says it is one of the reasons why he married me! 😉

Killer Meatballs
2 28 oz cans tomato sauce
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 5 oz can tomato paste
1 T oregano
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Put all in a large pot, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour (or longer). Stir often and partially cover – it can get messy as it simmers.

1 pound ground beef (you can use 1/2 beef & 1/2 pork if you prefer)
1/2 c (or more as need to bind together) Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
1 T oregano
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Roll into walnut sized balls, roll in flour and drop into bubbling sauce. Partially cover (to help prevent spatters) and cook 3-4 hours, stirring frequently to help prevent burning.

Sauce thickens overnight and is often better the next day as the spices heat it up.

Serve with al dente angel hair pasta.

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