As I'm sure everyone knows the east coast was hit by a hurricane/super storm named Sandy a week ago. Where I live we were extremely fortunate not to get any damage from the storm. A few people lost power, a couple of limbs were knocked down from trees, but it was nothing like what areas in New Jersey and New York City got hit with.
Cover Photograph from New York Magazine
As I write this a nor'easter is hitting many of the same areas that were devastated by hurricane Sandy. Areas that are still recovering. Many people are still without power. My heart goes out to all of those people.
One of the really powerful things I get to do as a blogger is use my little corner of the internet as a platform from time to time. Well this feels like one of those times. My friend Barbara over at Creative Culinary had a great idea for food bloggers to put up a comfort dish on our site today. Something we would make for a friend or neighbor in crisis/need.
I had already planned a post for this week with my mother in law's spaghetti, meatballs, and sausages that she made for my husband when he was growing up. It started as part of an idea I had for this time of the year which always has its roots set firmly in family tradition. I thought it would be fun to cover the different spaghetti recipes both my husband and I grew up with including the one I have come up with on my own as an adult. One spaghetti recipe a week for the month of November. The recipe I was planning on sharing is a perfect fit for Barbara's idea.
You'll have to excuse the photographs as we are getting into the time of year when it's dark by dinner time and my food photography starts to suffer from it. I eat what I cook you know.
This is a great recipe because it really caters to the time you have available. If you have all afternoon you can simmer it low and slow on your cook-top and get a rich, thick sauce. However, it does double duty as a crock-pot recipe that you can start in the morning and have waiting for you when you get home for dinner. The sauce is a little thinner when you use the crock-pot and because of that I really do prefer to simmer it on the cook-top. My husband walked in the night I served this and as soon as he walked in the door you could see the contented look of nostalgia written all over his face. My mother in law's recipe is very different from the one I grew up with but it screams comfort food and so now I will share it with you.
**Please continue to read the post after the recipe as I am also doing an auction to benefit the victims of hurricane Sandy and I don't want you to miss that!**
Jean's Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage
Ingredients for sauce:
- 1- 28 ounce can of tomato puree
- 1- 28 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1- 12 ounce can of tomato paste (fill the can twice with water)
- 3 tablespoons of dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for meatballs:
- 1 pound of ground hamburger
- 3/4 cup of whole milk
- 3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 pound of dried spaghetti
- 4-6 links of Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
- In a large pot combine the tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, dried minced onion, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic powder, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, partially covered. Stir occasionally to make sure the sauce is not cooking to the bottom.
- Make the meatballs and cut the sausage links into 2-inch pieces. Add the meatballs and sausage to the sauce and continue simmering, partially covered for another 2 hours.
- In the last 1/2 hour of cooking the sauce prepare the pasta.
- Check the sauce for salt and pepper. Serve sauce over pasta.
**To make this in a crock-pot combine all of the sauce ingredients in the crock-pot. Then add in the meatballs and the sausage. Cover and cook over low for 8 hours. Prepare pasta and serve sauce over pasta.
But wait! There's more! Maybe you like the idea of comfort food but know that the victims from hurricane Sandy could use more help than just a nice cozy meal. If you're so inclined you can click on the image below and make a donation directly to the American Red Cross. Every little bit helps.
Oh but wait...there's more!! Maybe you'd like a little reminder of the donation you made. A little something tangible to keep you or someone you love a little warmer in the winters to come. Well I knit this hat to auction off with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross.
I knit this hat from acrylic yarn so it is machine washable and dry-able. It is one size. The pattern allows it to have a lot of stretch so you can put your hair up under it if you feel so inclined.
The auction for this hat is over on e-bay. It is open internationally. The auction includes free shipping so all the money you give will truly go directly to the American Red Cross. Please consider bidding on this hat, it really is for a worthy cause. The auction will close November 14, 2012. You can access the auction by clicking HERE.