Meatballs, Sausage, Braciole, and Gravy!
All of these things help my house smell of Sunday, Does yours?
Growing up in a Jewish house, we enjoyed cooking from around the world my mother made a mean Matza Ball soup and a killer Gravy complete with all the trimmings. Although Prince Spaghetti days were Sunday and Wednesday growing up we usually had spaghetti on Monday’s.
When I first met my husband and we had been dating for a few months in conversation he mentioned what he missed most about his childhood was going to his grandmothers every weekend with all his cousins and walking into the smell of Sunday! Having a bunch of Italian friends growing up I knew Sundays at their house was usually a family day that involved a big dinner. I then became curious as to what Sunday smelled like? Did someone not take out the garbage all week? Rob then explained to me when he would go to his grandparents (did I mention they went EVERY Sunday) the smell of the gravy on the stove and his grandma’s homemade pasta was a highlight of his week and it was always something he looked forward to even when he was in his twenties.
We had been dating around six months when one Sunday Rob was going out riding on his motorcycle. I decided not to go and said I would see him the next day, later that day when Rob returned home he arrived at his apartment to the Smell of Sunday! A smell he had not smelled in a very long time. He was stunned , surprised and loved that I had remembered what had made him happy from his childhood. Smell of Sunday would now continue!
Getting the smell of Sunday is not an easy task by any means. First you need to make sure your meatballs are pork, veal and beef. I usually buy my meatball mix from a local pork store as well as my sausage and braciole. Mixing the meatballs and frying them takes time and I usually do them the night before. The sausage is easy to do both sweet and hot give the gravy a nice taste.
The task of chopping the onions and the garlic (my least favorite) is next and you want to make sure you sauté them in olive oil just till they are translucent adding some hot pepper, kosher salt, fresh basil, oregano, parsley, ground pepper. Once they have turned color I throw in the braciole and pan sear it before I add in the tomatoes jarred or canned. I alternate but prefer jarred for when I am making a plain marinara sauce with no meat!
Once I have added the tomatoes in goes the meat and a long slow simmer will happen usually for about six hours. About half way through I give the gravy a taste and add seasonings accordingly. While it is cooking the smell spreads throughout the house and you can’t help but get hungry from the Smell of Sunday. Since my niece is living with us who is a vegetarian I also make a pot of plain sauce for her whenever we make a meat gravy. The Smell of Sunday is about FAMILY so everyone should be able to enjoy!
Whenever the Smell of Sunday hits our house it is cause for a family dinner, we invite our siblings, cousins, or friends and set up the big long table. A nice tossed salad and some chicken parmigiana are added to the menu. A good Garlic Bread MUST always be prepared because there is a lot of dunking to be done.
Although preparing for the smell of sunday is alot of work, it is worth it when you mix good food, and fantastic family. I know it is something both my main men appreciate and look forward to.
Does your family have any smells, that remind them of family and the feeling of being home? I would love to read all about them so please share them by commenting.