When my husband and I first met, he wouldn’t let me in his kitchen. He grew up in a home where his father did all the cooking, and he firmly believed that I would “do it wrong” and “mess up his system.” He was probably right. Our cooking styles are dramatically different. For him, consistency is actually important, and he can, and in fact must, follow a recipe. Deviation is not permitted, or the end result will not be perfect. My tack is a little more loose. OK, it’s completely loose, so loose it threatens to fall off and roll down the street. Yet, remarkably, we both can crank out some fabulous meals.
Times have changed since those first couple of years… nine years later, I’m more than welcome in the kitchen… just as long as he isn’t in there cooking already. And that means I get to be in the kitchen whenever I want. This weekend though, Cam got the itch to make his family pasta sauce and I was once again banned as he pulled together an amazing meal of fettucini, Italian sausage and salad. This was no small effort on his part. The really impressive part was at the same time he was cooking, he built me two new kitchen islands to house my growing foodography supplies!
And if that isn’t amazing enough, the kitchen was pretty much spotless by the time we sat down to dinner. A girl could get used to this. Perhaps there is something to this “system” thing…
Anyway, this sauce is the real deal… rich and meaty, slow cooked all day filling the house with unbelievably tempting aromas. Here’s the original recipe, looking a bit on the tattered side:
The not-so-secret Ferroni Tomato Pasta Sauce recipe
Serves hundreds (only a slight exaggeration…)
2 large cans whole, pealed Italian tomatoes (like San Marazano)
1 13oz. can tomato paste
1 t sugar
1 T basil
3/4 T oregano
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/8 t black pepper
1 celery stalk
1/2 T salt
2 packs short ribs (or veal shoulders)
1 onion, chopped
4 T olive oil
1 T basil
1 T oregano
Blend the tomatoes until smooth. Add to a large, heavy pot on medium high heat. (I really recommend the Le Creuset French Ovens… and they happen to be on a huge sale on some of the colors at Amazon.) Add in the tomato paste. Fill the tomato paste can with water, and add to the pot, mixing to combine. Add the sugar, basil, oregano, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, celery and salt. Bring to a boil.
In the mean time, in a large skillet, brown the spare ribs with the olive oil, onion, pepper, garlic powder and remaining basil and oregano. When brown, add the whole mixture to the sauce. Simmer for about 3 hours.
To serve, add a large spoonful of sauce to a large bowl. Add the cooked pasta, and mix. Add sauce a spoonful at a time and mix until distributed, until you have enough. Remove the short ribs, from the sauce, and serve along side the pasta (the meat will be so tender that it will be falling off the bones, so remove carefully).