This week’s Featured Meal is Nana’s Sauce and Meatballs!
Rosalyn, the owner of The Basics & Comfort Foods would like to share a special story behind our Featured Meal!
“When I met my husband in college and he found out I came from a Sicilian family he automatically told me how he loved Italian food and Lasagna was his favorite! Unfortunate for me his first question was “do you know how to make sauce and meatballs?!!” Of course I had an idea but could I actually cook? It was a big jump since I’d never really cooked a dish on my own before. But for some reason, without thinking, I immediately said, “Yeah!”. Then it was out there and I couldn’t take it back, my pride was on the line. I’m always up for a challenge but this one was a tough one.
Growing up, my whole family (nuclear and extended) ate together at Nana’s house every night so my mom didn’t cook very often unless it was for a holiday. To my disadvantage this meant I didn’t really have direct contact with cooking on a regular basis. To me, looking back I think, I grew up working in my Aunt’s restaurants from the time I was 12 years old washing dishes all the way up through waitressing and working large events. All the women in my family are amazing cooks and how I didn’t have more direct access to learning how to cook really baffled me. With this thought in mind, I picked up the phone and called my mother to yell at her for not teaching me how to cook, which I did very quickly because there was no time. With very little practice, I had to figure out how to make my grandmother’s amazing sauce and meatballs that she had perfected over 80 years. So then I called Nana and asked her for the recipe to which she replied, “I don’t have a recipe”….ugh. I told her she had to help me out and so we went step by step with her throw a little of this and a little of that type recipe written down.
I tried this piecemeal recipe once immediately after that and it was barely edible. With only one day before I said I would cook for my date I just went for it with my best intentions and to my surprise he really liked and said,”now can you make lasagna?” And like a fool I, AGAIN, immediately said, “Yeah!”. Really? So again I found myself calling Nana and saying, “ok, now you have to teach me how to make Lasagna” to which she laughed and laughed. I’m so glad I could amuse her!
So, 20 years later I’ve made Nana’s recipe my own (I’m sure everyone in my family has since we trash talk each other about how well we can make it). She had 3 secrets to her recipe and I’ll give you one! Only put enough bread crumbs in the meatballs for them to barely stay together! I think about that every time I make them.”
Nana’s Sauce and Meatballs is a dish that holds a place in her heart and now she’s sharing it with you! Have a little touch of family when you eat your very own Sauce and Meatballs.
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