Italian Sauce and Meatballs

Italian Sauce

My husband is taking the boys camping this weekend so I will be taking the opportunity to make some sauce.  I like to make a big batch of it and freeze it in quart (freezer safe) canning jars.  It will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days.  The meatballs freeze beautifully as well.  After baking move them to a clean baking sheet and place in the freezer.  Once frozen place them in freezer bags or another freezer safe container, keep up to 6 months in a deep freezer.

2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (28 oz.) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes (with liquid), crushed with your hands
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds pork ribs or neck bones with meat
1 large onion, minced
1 large shallot, minced
3 ribs celery, minced
1 green bell pepper, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Bay leaves
4 tablespoons sugar

1. Place a mesh sieve over a bowl. Add the tomatoes; force through to remove the seeds.
2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium. Add the pork ribs/necks; cook until browned, turning as needed about every 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the onion, shallots, celery, and bell pepper; cook over medium, 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds.
4. Add the tomatoes, carrot, thyme, oregano, black pepper, bay leaves, sugar and salt to taste; return the ribs to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until meat is tender, 2-3 hours; remove bones and carrot.
5. Meanwhile, make meatballs (below)
6. Serve over choice of pasta with meatballs and grated cheese.

Makes approximately 4 quarts.

Italian Meatballs
In large bowl combine:
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup whole milk
¾ cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes or ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

1. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil
2. Form mixture into approx. 40 (2-inch) balls.
3. Place balls on lined baking pan and bake at 400° for 20 min. turning over halfway through.
4. Serve with Italian sauce and pasta

Click Here for a printable copy of Italian Sauce and Meatballs

Coconutty Chicken

This recipe was adapted from a Rachael Ray Magazine Meal Planner pullout.  This was a big hit with all the entire family and a friend one of my sons had over.  My husband thinks some crushed red pepper should be added next time.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
Salt and pepper
1 (13½ ounce) can coconut milk
½ cup cider vinegar
⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 small head garlic, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves
8 ounces orecchiette or orzo pasta
1 (10-11 ounce) package baby spinach, washed and dried
1. In a large pan, brown the cubed chicken. Season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the coconut milk, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves.
3. When the chicken is golden brown, add the sauce to the chicken and stir. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
4. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions.
5. While the pasta is cooking remove the cover from the chicken, discard the bay leaves; bring the sauce to a boil until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach to wilt. Serve over pasta.

Original Recipe from Rachael Ray Magazine