Another Sunday… Another vat of sauce…

We used our last jar of sauce a few days ago, so Victor hit the kitchen early this morning to make another batch. 14 quarts lasted us from mid-December to early April, so the 14 quarts today should carry us into mid-Summer.

Having jars of your own homemade sauce on the shelf really is one of life’s great pleasures. They make for some quick and easy dinners when I work late, and they’re a great for those nights when I want to get a bit creative and Nonna isn’t feeling adventurous.


With a big pot and some mason jars, it’s quite easy to make large batches of things. It saves on time and money in the long run – and you actually get to know what you’re eating. It’s major win-win.


And it really is easy. Most of the time involved is unattended – letting things boil, simmer, or pressure-can. This is Victor’s basic recipe – he uses a dozen 28oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes for a canning batch.

And what goes with homemade sauce? Homemade bread, of course! Victor made 2 loaves of bread yesterday while I was at work. He also made a banana-chocolate cake. He’s been busy in the kitchen!


The bread is classic James Beard.

French-Style Bread


  • 1½ packages active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups warm water (l00° to 115°, approximately)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose or hard-wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon egg white, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water


Combine the yeast with sugar and warm water in a large bowl and allow to proof. Mix the salt with the flour and add to the yeast mixture, a cup at a time, until you have a stiff dough. Remove to a lightly floured board and knead until no longer sticky, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. Place in a buttered bowl and turn to coat the surface with butter. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

Punch down the dough. Turn out on a floured board and shape into two long, French bread-style loaves. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with the cornmeal but not buttered. Slash the tops of the loaves diagonally in two or three places, and brush with the egg wash. Place in a cold oven, set the temperature at 400°, and bake 35 minutes, or until well browned and hollow sounding when the tops are rapped.

We ate well, tonight. Of course, we eat well every night, but tonight was especially well!

And there’s at least 13 more meals to come!