Momma Mia! That’s Italia!

By Ann
In my need for ‘comfort’ food, I decided to make a variation of my Mother’s Spaghetti sauce. I recall coming home from school and smelling its fabulous aroma. Makes me hungry and full of warm feelings, just thinking about it.

While shopping for the ingredients, I decide to do it like on a cooking show, or blog and take photos as I go. Others do it, so why can’t I?

So, here goes…

One pound of Angus ground sirloin
One whole brown onion
Zucchini, one yellow and one green – sliced or chopped
Mushrooms – sliced
One 14 ounce can of diced tomatos
One 10 oz can of tomato puree
Lemon juice – splash
Garlic salt
Oregano leaves
Basil leaves
Parsley leaves
Whole bay leaves – 2 to 4 – to taste.. I use 4 – love bay leaves…
Dry red wine – appoximately one cup… or more… 

Brown the ground sirloin, chopped onion, and carrots in skillet.  (carrots give it  sweetness)
Pour off grease, if there is any. I use quality meat, so there usually isn’t much.

Add spices to taste. I am generous as I like it Italiano spicey. Put in Bay leaves whole… but make sure to remove before serving. (Bay leaf edges can cut innards) My Mom told me that and I never forgot.

Add a splash of lemon juice, about a cup of red wine and the cans of diced tomatos and tomato puree.  Bring to a bubby simmer then cover and simmer on low for, at least, two hours. So, the spices get all intermingled. I have simmered it as long as all afternoon… the longer the better.

About 30 minutes before serving, add the chopped or sliced zucchini and mushrooms. At this time, I also add a bit more wine and a sprinkling of garlic salt.  Then bring to a boil then back to simmer, then simmer 30 to 45 minutes longer or until the vegetables are soft. There are many varitions, sometimes, I add black olives or artickoke hearts.

Add olive oil to water in a pot and boil spinach noodles, al dente.

 Fini! Serve this delight over the spinach noodles and top with a drizzle of Parmesan cheese, accompanied by crusty, buttered, garlic bread, a light salad and dry red wine.

And you will say…        
Momma Mia! 
That’s Italia!
Serves two very generously or four small servings or six really small servings…adjust quantities as desired. And as leftovers, it tastes even better the next day.

In honor of my Mom. I feel close to her when I cook one of her delicious recipes. She would laugh, because even though, she was a really good cook, she didn’t like to cook. So, it’s interesting that some of my fondest memories of her are around her cooking. “Ah! Oh! Momma Mia! There I go again, how can I forget you!”

A suggestion, on this hot end of the summer weekend, stay inside and make a wonderful dinner… create some kitchen/food memories. So, that someday, when someone, needs some comfort food and memories, they will be there for the taking.