Today happens to be “National Garlic Day!” Garlic is used in many households for wonderful tasty dishes. You can NEVER be without garlic cloves in an Italian house. Garlic is called "the stinking rose" or “the fragrant pearl." Its pungent flavor is used as a seasoning or condiment. Garlic cloves can be eaten raw or cooked. They may also be dried or powdered. According to Ron Engeland, author of “Growing Great Garlic” there may well be over 450 identifiable strains of garlic.
- Central European folk beliefs - considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires. To ward off vampires, garlic could be worn or hung in windows etc.
- Egyptians worshiped garlic - and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen.
- How Can You Get Rid of Garlic Odor on Your Hands after cooking? After exposure, scrub your hands with salt and lemon juice, using cold water. Then rinse off with soapy warm water. Another way is to rub your hands on the stainless steel sink. Then wash your hands and the odor should be gone.
- It is said that if you carry a garlic clove with you when traveling over water, it will prevent you from drowning.
- Soldiers throughout history have used it for these properties when going into battle.
- Garlic Tea - For sore throat, make a garlic tea by steeping several cloves of garlic in half a cup of water overnight. Hold your nose and drink it.
- Garlic is also used for hair growth.
- Alliumphobia is what the fear of garlic is called. Garlic only contains 4 calories per clove.
- Chicago was named after the American Indian word for the wild garlic that grew around Lake Michigan, chicagaoua.
Making a great tomato sauce is something you can be proud of once you get it right. No store bought pasta or spaghetti sauce can compare with the taste of a sauce that you make from scratch. You can use this sauce on a variety of pasta including spaghetti, macaroni, and it is also a good base for lasagna and meatballs. My recipe this week is two fold, one is my mom’s “Marinara Sauce” and the other is her “Meatball” recipe. Of course these two dishes contain garlic. The recipe for this sauce was passed down from my family, and now to you. Buon Appetto!
2 cans of 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 cans of tomato paste
Olive Oil or Canola Oil
5 large garlic cloves
Salt to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons of Oregano flakes
2 1/2 tablespoons of Parsley flakes
2 1/2 tablespoons of Basil flakes
2 dried Bay leaves
On medium heat sauté olive oil to thinly cover bottom of pot. Add garlic. Then add crushed tomatoes and paste. Add 1/2 can of water (use paste can). Put in salt, parsley, basil, oregano to taste and add 2 dried bay leaves. Stir while cooking on low simmer (after starts to boil) for 1 hour. You can add a small amount of sugar if desired (optional). Cover on or slightly off to thicken sauce. Enjoy with pasta of your choice and meatballs.
Yields: 30 meatballs-(10 meatballs per pound)
2 cups of bread crumbs (if too stiff add a sprinkle of water)
3 lbs of beef chuck chopped meat (80% lean, but not too lean, you need a little fat for moisture)
1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic
3/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
3 fistfuls of fresh parsley-chopped
Vegetable oil or Canola oil
Place oil about 1/4 to 1/2 inches in frying pan. Heat oil before placing the meatballs in pan. Put the beef chuck in a med-sized bowl and add all ingredients except the oil. Gently combine the meat using your hands until evenly mixed. The mixture should be slightly wet and workable, not too sticky. Using your hands, gently shape meat into balls. Don’t worry if they are not perfectly round, but try to make them all uniform for even cooking. Don’t roll them over and over, be gentle. Add the meatballs to the pan and fry them until they are brown on one side then turn. Keep turning with tongs until they are completely and evenly browned. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a paper towel to drain. Now it is time to place your meatballs into your sauce to cook for a while and then serve with pasta of your choice.
Tip: In place of bread crumbs, take chunks of stale Italian bread and soak in a bowl with water or milk. As it softens remove crust and squeeze water or milk out of bread chunks. Separate into small pieces and add to chopped meat mixture.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with some delicious red wine……
Don’t forget to drink responsibly!
Till Next Time………………………………..
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