This Is What Sunday Smells Like

Every Sunday of my childhood, supper was always pasta.  Mom would start the sauce early in the morning and let it simmer all day.  The scent of tomatoes and garlic filled the house and would seduce you all day as it cooked.  Anytime you passed through the kitchen you would give it a stir, inhale deeply and savor the anticipation of having this thick, Sicilian style sauce poured over your pasta, clinging to each piece. The longer it cooked, the better it got and about one hour before supper I’d be hovering in the kitchen with a piece of bread in my hand, asking Mom for a taste.  Permission was granted and it was torture to wait any longer.  She would shoo me out of the kitchen assuring me that the pasta water was on and we’ be eating soon.  One nice heaping bowl, several meatballs and links of sausage later, I was quite content.  This was Sunday and this is what Sunday smells like.


  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 2 small yellow onions (sliced thin)
  • 6 medium/large cloves garlic (minced)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • dried Italian seasoning (about 12 shakes)
  • dried oregano (about 12 shakes)
  • dried basil (about 12 shakes)
  • garlic powder (about 6 shakes)
  • 1 package country pork neck or bone in pork ribs


  • Put a frying pan on the stove top and turn the heat to high.
  • Once the pan is nice and hot drizzle olive oil cover the bottom of the pan then place the pork in the oil. You should hear a nice sizzle when the meat hits the pan.
  • Brown the meat on both sides (do not cook through) and set aside.
  • Add sliced onion to a stock pot, drizzle with olive oil, season with a pinch or two of salt and cook over medium heat until the onion softens. Salt brings out the sweetness of the onion. NEVER add sugar to the sauce.
  • Add minced garlic to the onions and sweat until soft (do not brown or burn).
  • Add tomato paste to the onions and garlic and cook a bit until the paste warms through.
  • Add the crushed and whole peeled tomatoes and stir well. Fill each can half way with water, swish around so the rest of the sauce washed off the inside of the cans, add that water to the pot and stir.
  •  Add seasonings, the browned pork and stir well.
  • Cover the pot, let it come to a slow boil (stirring often) then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 4-6 hours (stir often).
  • As the whole peeled tomatoes cook down they are easier to break.  I use an old hand-held potato masher and gently press it into tomatoes.  Be careful not to break the pork.
  • After the sauce is finished remove the pork and serve in a separate dish.  It is so succulent and tender and gives a beautiful flavor to the sauce.

This is a large batch but it freezes well so you can save some in the refrigerator for about one week and the rest you can put in smaller freezer safe containers and save for the next time you want some delicious Sunday sauce.



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