For those of you who are following my blog, you already know that I am Polish, I love my heritage, I love the food, the culture, the language that I grew up hearing my grandparents and parents speak when they didn’t want us to know what they were saying and now wished I had learned. I am proud of my ancestry.
What very few people know is that I am a closet Italian. If I were not Polish and I could pick a back up nationality, it would definitely be Italian. I love the food, the wine, the desserts! I love the big families and the family loyalty.
My favorite movie is “Under the Tuscan Sun”…..simply for the food, the wine, the beautiful landscape. I have watched this movie a hundred times and every time I cannot wait for Francis to get on that tour in Italy!! I have several favorite scenes, I love the dinner party when the married guy is flirting, I really don’t care what he is saying to her I want to know what that white cream sauce is on the Ravioli he is eating!!
I love when Signor Martini gives Frances the statue, San Lorenzo, Patron Saint of Cooks. and I want the dinner scenes with the Polish guys who are working on her house to be longer. I take in everything I cand see on the table and I want to know what the grandma is crumbling into the pot on the stove….is it garlic? It looks like bread crumbs? What is she crumbling it into? Yes, I have paused the movie to try and figure this out!!
In the movie “Eat Pray Love” once Liz leaves Italy, I’m bored. I love that Liz eats her way through Italy, that she travels to Naples just to eat pizza, pizza that looks nothing like the pizza that I can order from Little Caesars down the street! One of my favorite scenes is the outdoor cafe where she orders for everyone at the table. Each time I am disappointed that there aren’t more camera shots of the food!! Once she leaves Italy, it’s time to change the channel.
I hate to admit it here but the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” is my favorite group of the RHO series. Watching last year’s Christmas dinner at Caroline and Albert’s house I wanted to know what was on the menu!
I am constantly on a mission to find new sauces, new recipes, new dishes. I have not yet, but will try my hand at Panzanella, it sounds so yummy!! I cook at least one Italian dish a week, spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, gnocci……..red sauce, butter garlic sauce, white sauce. Yummy, Yummy, Yummy!!!
In another dimension, another time, another place……………. I am Italian!!
After that little intro, you’ve probably already guessed that tonight is Italian night at our house, we are having spaghetti with meat sauce, a nice salad and garlic bread. The house smells incredible, garlic, onions……mmmm yum!
My sauce simmers for a couple of hours, melding the garlic, onions, oregano, brown sugar, ground beef and tomato sauce into a fantastic tasting pasta sauce. Whether it’s over spaghetti noodles or mostaccioli noodles, or baked in my lasagna, this sauce is always one of our favorites!
NANCY’S SPAGHETTI SAUCE
1 lb. Ground Beef (Chuck or Ground Round)
1 – 29 oz. Can Hunts Tomato Sauce*
1 – 15 oz. Can Hunts Tomato Sauce*
1 – 6 oz. Can Hunts Tomato Paste*
3/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp. Basil
1 – Small Onion – chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic (Smash gloves with side of knife then chop)
4 tbsp. Brown Sugar
- Brown meat – drain off fat
- Return meat to pot add Oregano, Basil, Onion and Garlic – Mix well
- Add tomato sauce and paste to meat mixture – mix well
- Add brown sugar, mix
- Cover bring to a boil – stir
- Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours stirring occasionally.
- Serve over pasta or use as sauce for lasagna.
*I use Hunts, you can use the brand of your choice.