Italian Meatballs (adapted from Joy of Cooking)

Soak in water, milk, or stock to cover (I use skim milk): 1 slice of bread, 1 inch thick (I use whole wheat)
1.5 lb. ground meat: 1/2 lb. beef, 1/2 lb. veal, 1/2 lb. pork or liver
Beat well and add to the meat:
2 eggs

1 tbsp. butter

Sauté until golden:
1/4 cup finely chopped onions

Add to the meat. Wring the liquid from the bread. Add bread to the meat and add:
3 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 chopped clove of garlic (I usually use 2 whole cloves)
3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (splurge on the real thing and not the green can)
1/4 tsp. fresh oregano

Mix and form into 1-inch balls. Place in sauce. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes.

OR lay them uncooked on trays in the freezer until firm. Store in freezer in freezer storage bags and use as needed. No need to defrost! Just cook in sauce until done (about 30 minutes).

Spaghetti Sauce (This is a double recipe!) (Adapted from the American Italian Pasta Company):

1.5 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes (my favorite brand to use is Hunts)
1.25 cups of water
2 tsp. sugar (or a quarter cup of carrots)
1.5 tsp. salt
.25 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup of fresh oregano, chopped
½ cup of fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden (about 8-10 minutes). Stir in tomatoes and water. Add in and stir salt, sugar, and pepper. Add in and stir all of the fresh herbs. Turn up heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Wait until completely cooled before placing in Ziploc bags to freeze.