Sunday Supper: Sunday Sauce

The sauce for this dish provides a lovely topping to pasta and the ‘bath’ for the meatballs to simmer in.  Once the meatballs are removed, the sauce carries the aroma of the meat and tastes wonderful on pasta.  The meatballs should be served along side the pasta, NOT on top, as that is the true Italian way.

Brodo Di Mamma (Italian Red Sauce)

Makes 7.5 to 8 cups of sauce

Serves 6 to 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes        Total Time: Up to 2 hours

½ cup Italian extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (optional and more to taste)
8 cups / 232oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped basil

  1. In a small saucepan, combine olive oil with basil and garlic (crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy brodo).  On very low heat, allow the basil and garlic to simmer in the olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes.  This steeping process will allow olive oil to become fragrant.  Careful that garlic gets toasted brown but not black.  Remove from heat and strain aromatics.  Set aside.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, pour in the tomato sauce and the water.  Add tomato paste and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour reserved olive oil into the sauce and mix to combine.  Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer.  If also making meatballs, remove ½ cup of the brodo and set aside to cool.
  4. Partially cover the pot and allow sauce to simmer for at least 45 minutes or up to 2 hours.  The longer it cooks, the better it tastes.  Right before serving, mix to combine in olive oil that has separated to the top and add chopped basil.
  5. Serve with your pasta of choice.