Michelle's meatballs and tomato sauce


Tomato sauce

1 No. 10 can Italian plum tomatoes, peeled (No. 10 can is equal to 6 pounds, 6 ounces)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups yellow onion, brunoise
2 cups thinly sliced garlic, sliced on a mandolin
4 sprigs basil

Squeeze the tomatoes with their juice until they are a homogeneous texture; remove and discard all hard bits from tops and ribs of tomatoes as you're working. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottom pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until slightly soft. Add the sliced garlic and basil and cook until the vegetables are soft but do not have color.

Next, add the squeezed tomatoes and simmer on very low heat until the sauce concentrates enough to coat a spoon, about 45 minutes. You can cook this sauce for up to 2 hours if you have the time. Add 1 large sprig of basil in the last five minutes of cooking and taste for seasoning.

Michelle's meatballs

1/3 cup olive oil
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/3 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground beef
1/3 pound ground veal
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan, if desired
6 inch piece of dry bread (crusts removed) soaked in 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth or stock nearby for cooking the meatballs
1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until soft and transparent. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

Place the rest of the oil in a very large sauté pan. Combine the rest of the ingredients including the cooked garlic and onion in a large bowl, mix until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1½ ounce meat balls. Cook the meatballs until golden brown on all sides. Add 1 cup of chicken broth or stock and 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce.

Cover and cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper.