The secret of our sauce is to let it cook its way to a depth of flavor possible only with meatballs simmering in the pot. If you can make some time to prepare our basic sauce ahead of time, even freezing it, it's amazing how you can turn a weekday into the real Italian thing.

You can get the sauce started in a large pot while you make the meatballs. Grandmom liked to sauté her meatballs before placing them in the pot; Mom just put them right in without frying.
 tomatoes2 qt
(64 ounces) puréed
 tomato paste
two 6-ounce cans
five 6-ounce cans
 garlic salt2 tsp
 freshly ground black pepper2 tsp
  olive oil2 tbsp
 Italian seasoning2 tbsp
available premixed
 pork bone6 oz
one whole, meat still on it
 salt 1/2 tsp


large pot
Combine the tomato purée, tomato paste, and water in a large pot and simmer over very low heat.
Add the garlic salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Stir well, ensuring that the tomato paste is blending completely.
Sprinkle the Italian seasoning in a thin layer on the top.
Sauté the pork bone separately in a little of the olive oil and the salt. Cook fully, then add the sauce.
Stir again, allowing the Italian seasoning to blend.
Let the sauce simmer, covered, for 3 to 4 hours over very, very low heat

A Tip from Mary: If you're not using your own, the best canned tomatoes to buy are the San Marzano variety, imported from Italy. Italian specialty groceries usually have them. There are a few brands, all offering excellent quality.


Adriana and Mary Trigiani's Cooking with My Sisters