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Vito Cangelosi’s Famous Meat Balls and Red (Tomato) Pasta Sauce

Meat Balls:
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 cup Progresso Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan grated cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup Italian Seasoning
1 cup chopped sweet onions
5 large garlic cloves coarsely chopped
Add salt and pepper to taste

Mix well in a large mixing bowl and make into eight meat balls. In a heavy fry pan coated with olive oil, on medium heat, sauté the meat balls, gently turning until all sides are browned. They should not be cooked through and through as we want the sauce to permeate them and complete the cooking.

Red Pasta Sauce:
1 whole sweet onion coarsely ground
4 or 5 finely ground garlic cloves
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can tomato juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup Italian seasoning
2 or 3 dried cloves
2 or 3 dried bay leaves
2 table spoons of sugar (3 if you like things on the sweeter side)
Add salt and pepper to taste

In a six to eight quart stock pot, pour a solid layer of olive oil and heat oil on low to medium heat. Add onions and brown. Add garlic as the onions begin to brown and sauté for about two or three minutes. Add tomato paste. Stir constantly, being careful not to burn the paste. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until the paste becomes darkened. Pour in the tomato juice and stir on low heat until the paste and juice are blended well. Add the remainder of the seasoning, as you continue to stir the sauce on low heat. Add meat balls being careful to not let the sauce splash and burn you. Cover the pot and bring to a boil on low to medium heat. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for one hour. Be sure to stir the pot about every five minutes to make sure it is not cooking too high. I like to remove the lid for the last 15 to 20 minutes to keep the steam from thinning down the sauce.

My choice for this sauce is a good quality large spaghetti (Skinner or Barilla). Forget about the cooking instructions on the package. In an eight quart stock pot, fill half way with water. Add about 1/4 cup salt and about 1/4 cup of olive oil. (The oil will keep the pasta from sticking.) Bring water to boil on high heat. Lower the heat to medium and add 1 lb. spaghetti. (I usually break the pasta in half over the pot as I place it in the boiling water). You must stir constantly and taste after approximately four minutes. The pasta must be “al dente” (chewy to taste) and not soft. As you continue to taste the pasta, when it begins to soften, cook for another one to two minutes. Immediately pour into a colander in the sink and rinse with cold water to get the paste from the pasta and to stop the cooking process. (In a white sauce, we want the paste from the pasta to become part of the sauce. That is for another day) Pour pasta into a platter and spread some red sauce over it. Place the meat balls around the pasta and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Bon Appetite!

Ciao,

Vito Cangelosi

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