Helen is the mother of Joan, one of my very best friends in the world.
She lives in Ohio....and I miss her.
Her Mom used to always make spaghetti sauce when I visited but she has gotten older and probably doesn't like me much anymore because it hasn't happened the last few times I visited there.
If Helen isn't making spaghetti sauce with meatballs for you either I thought I would share the recipe so you can make it yourself.
And I also wanted to share a little Helpful Hint for your salad dressing to serve with Helen recipe.
There is the best pizza restaurant here and they have this yummy dressing...but I could never figure it out because it is reddish like french but tastes almost like a garlick-y Italian. So after years of trying I finally got out out of the waiter.
Here's how they make it: Prepare your usual italian dressing (and this works with store bought, too) and then stir in about 1/4 cup of your spaghetti sauce.
It sounds weird.
But try it.
It is delicious!
And now...here is Helen's Hellacious recipe!
NO SUBSTITIONS OF BRANDS IN CANNED TOMATOES OR WINE… TRULY… USE THESE EXACT NAMEBRANDS AS IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
5 minced cloves of garlic
2 29 ounce cans Hunts tomato sauce
2 12 ounce cans Contadina tomato paste
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
Salt and pepper (start with about a teaspoon of salt and ½ a teaspoon of pepper)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups MOGAN DAVID CONCORD GRAPE wine (yes, this is technically real wine and don’t substitute)Over low heat sauté onions in several tablespoons of olive oil until they are starting to get translucent…. Don’t brown. Stir in garlic and continue to cook for several more minutes…. Again…. Don’t brown. Sprinkle onions and garlic lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in tomato paste and thyme and cook for several more minutes. Then add all remaining ingredients except butter and wine.
Simmer for approximately 1 hour. Taste the sauce. You may need to add a bit more thyme or even several sprinkles of garlic salt.
Then stir in the wine and the butter and simmer for an additional hour. Simmer is low heat, just a little bubbling with no cover or the cover mostly ajar. While the sauce is cooking make your meatballs.
2 pounds of lean ground beef
½ cup breadcrumbs (either homemade or prepared)
1 large onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
½ t. thyme
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 egg (lightly beaten with a fork)
2 – 6 tablespoons of water (add a bit at a time)
Mix all ingredients EXCEPT WATER together in a bowl. Use two forks or your hands but handle the meat gently and don’t compact it. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the meat mixture is slightly moist but holds together still.
Bake meatballs in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until lightly browned and cooked. Add meatballs to sauce and simmer for the last 20 minutes of time … don’t add when you put the wine and butter in….
Helen doe fry her meatballs in olive oil but it’s so messy and I think the oven method works just fine.
And this Honey of a recipe is brought to you by the letter