Makin’ The Sauce
Hola. It’s been a while…
I’ve been constantly trying to find the balance among caring for our children, homeschooling, working from home, teaching, and cooking meals each day. Every. Single. Day.
It’s no small feat, being a stay-at-home Mom. Throw into the mix the rest of the things I’m doing & I’m just downright crazy.
But back to my point.
Today I made pasta sauce & started thinking as I stirred…
I thought about my heritage. I’m half Italian, half English and All-American. However, I was brought up close to the Italian side, therefore gained the important knowledge of making sauce.
If you’re Italian-American, you know what I’m talking about. Everyone knows how to make sauce if you are Italian or married to one. Everyone appreciates good sauce, but not all sauce is good.
As I was stirring, I thought about what makes sauce good. If you asked my grandmother when she was alive, she would’ve probably said fresh ingredients and love. She would do everything by hand – every piece of garlic and onion cut, almost shaved in her fingers, every pinch of parsley smooshed in between her perfect little hands. She would roll her meatballs with those same hands and every single meatball was perfection. She didn’t overcook anything and the meal was never undercooked. She also used lard to fry her meatballs (gasp!).
Her sauce was immaculate.
My mother made a just-as-delicious sauce, albeit a different sauce all together. She is the English side of our heritage, but knew that marrying an Italian meant learning how to make sauce. So she referred to Sophia Loren’s recipe. My mother makes a meat-based sauce & adds to it a little more than Ms. Loren’s sauce, which is simple.
Then there’s me. My husband happens to L-O-V-E sauce. If it were up to him, we would eat it every day in various ways. On pasta, on pizza, on chicken, eggplant…whatever. All three of our kids love it, too. I’d like to think my sauce is the perfect mix of my Mom’s & my grandmother’s sauces. I always make enough to have some leftover & another container to freeze. Don’t you?
So what is it that makes good sauce? In my opinion, it is what tastes the closest to what La Mama used to make. The aromas and flavors arouse nostalgia among our taste buds, and it tastes good to us. I’ve learned to enjoy other sauces, too, but to this day, nothing compares to my mother’s nor my grandmother’s sauce. You just can’t get the best sauce in a jar. Every Italian knows that. And we all have our one, maybe two, places to dine out to get decent sauce. They are few and far between. Every Italian knows that, too.
Who makes the best sauce in your life? Can you relate?!