NARDOLILLO FAMILY RECIPE
29 oz can Contadina tomato puree
29 oz can water
6 oz can Contadina tomato paste
large clove of garlic chopped into about 5 pieces
medium-large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced in lengthwise pieces. Take out hard center
1 pound italian sausage (variable)
1 pound chicken gizzards (optional)
1.5 lbs pork neckbones (5 parts)
dollop of olive oil, maybe 2 teaspoons, or, a 2-inch wide circle
dash of salt (not even half a teaspoon)
pinch of pepper
In general, the amounts of meat can be varied.
1.5 lb ground chuck (variable; any kind of ground beef ok)
A fluffy handfull (~ 1/2 cup; not the whole bunch) of finely diced destemmed flat-leaf parsley
salt to cover mixing bowl in a light speckle (maybe 20 shakes from a slow shaker)
6 or 7 grinds of pepper
1 clove garlic, very finely diced
1/3 cup freshly grated, imported Romano cheese. e.g., Locatelli. (slightly less than 2 cubic inches of the cheese block)
2 pieces stale white bread or white bun, lightly soaked in water. Run it under the sink and squeeze it out. Not too wet.
1. Add tomoto puree, tomato paste, can of water, pepper, and garlic to a large saucepan and simmer on low to medium heat (closer to low). Throughout the cooking of the sauce, there should be a light burble, but not too much steam coming off. Heat may need to be adjusted to maintain the burble. Stir with a wooden spoon every 5-10 minutes to keep it from burning and sticking. Stir carefully after meatballs are added. Especially stir the center of the pot. The video shows an exemplary burble:
2. Add oil and smear across a large cast-iron skillet with a sausage. Heat the skillet at medium heat.
3. Brown the sausages. Do not cook them all the way; just brown them. They should have brown strips on each side, but can still be pink in the middle. Add to sauce.
4. Lightly salt the neckbones and fry them for 10 minutes or so (maybe a little less). They should have both brown and red patches. Add to sauce.
5. As sausages and neckbones are browning, make the meatballs. Put the ground meat, egg, bread, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, and Romano cheese in a large mixing bowl.
6. Mix very lightly with your hands, not too long, just until pretty well mixed.
7. Roll into precise 1.5 inch balls, firm enough to stay together, but do not compact too much.
8. As they are rolled into balls, put the meatballs into the still-heated skillet. Try to get them in all at the same time. They should slightly crackle in the skillet.
9. When the meatballs are browned, turn them with a spoon. The bottom of the meatballs should be dark brown, looking just shy of being burned.
11. Brown the onion in the meatball grease for 10-15 minutes until brownish and translucent and very soft and floopy and limp. Add to sauce.
13. Mix together the desired ratio of sauce with your favorite type of pasta cooked in salted water (Rigatoni recommended). Serve the meat on a platter. Serve neckbones and gizzards only to Italian relatives. Anyone else will be offended.