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Ben's Italian Sauce (gravy)

(Makes enough for 10-12 servings; to serve for 5-6... halve the ingredients)

Cold Pressed Virgin Olive Oil to cover bottom of saucepan 
1 medium sized onion 
1½ tablespoons of chopped garlic 
1 rounded tablespoon of fennel seeds 
7- 10 shakes of Tabasco sauce 
2 cans of ground peeled Italian tomatoes (28 oz) 
4 cans of tomato paste (6 oz) 
1 handful of chopped parsley 
1 glass of Red wine 
4-5 cans of water (Use 6 oz cans from tomato paste) 
Whole wheat pasta 

Putting it together: 

  • At the bottom of a large saucepan add enough cold pressed virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan 
  • Add one medium sized diced onion 
  • Add 1½ heaping tablespoons of diced garlic (You can buy diced garlic by the jar in the supermarket) 
  • Add a round tablespoon of fennel seeds (This is one ingredient to take the place of hot Italian sausage; the other is Tabasco sauce which you will use later on) This adds flavor to the gravy (sauce) 
  • Sauté the ingredients in the pan for about 5 to 6 minutes 
  • Once everything is sautéed add two large cans (28 ounces each) of ground peeled tomatoes (I like Pastene's "Kitchen Ready" tomatoes) 
  • Next, add four cans of Italian tomato paste (6 ounces each) 
  • Add one can of water for each can of tomato paste used, plus an additional can if gravy is too thick 
  • Stir ingredients 
  • Add one glass of Italian red wine (most dry red wines will do). This will add flavor without the alcohol 
  • Add one handful of chopped parsley for both color and flavor 
  • Now add 7- 10 shakes of Tabasco sauce (More will make it too spicy) 
  • Let simmer, stirring constantly for about an hour 
  • Taste using Italian bread to see how you're doing (This is my favorite part)! 
  • Cook whole wheat pasta (macaroni) until al dente (slightly hard; not mushy) and serve 

Italian Meat Balls (Veggie Balls)* 
(Makes ten good sized meat balls) 

1 package of Yves "Veggie Ground Round" (12 ounces) or Gimme Lean Beef style 

2 tablespoons of chopped garlic 
1 small onion (finely diced) 
1/2 of 8 oz carton of "Better'n Eggs" or "Egg Beaters" 
1 handful of "Veggie Shreds" Cheese alternative (Parmesan Mozzarella and Romano) (1/2 cup) 
1 handful of Italian breadcrumbs (1/2 cup) 
1 handful of chopped parsley (1/2 cup) 
1 rounded tablespoon of black pepper 
Can of Olive Oil spray 
*(In Place of Veggie Ground you may prefer to use ground turkey meat OR buffalo meat) 

Putting it together: 

  • In a small mixing bowl add Ground Round, garlic, onion, parsley, egg substitute, veggie shreds, black pepper, and breadcrumbs together 
  • Knead all of the ingredients together, mixing thoroughly 
  • Roll into medium to small "meat" balls 
  • Place on a cooking sheet that has been spayed with Olive Oil, so they don't stick, making sure that "meat" balls don't touch each other 
  • Cook for 40 minutes at 375 degrees until firm and crusted 
  • Serve on top of pasta covered with sauce 

Bon Appetit! 

Per 461g serving, with pasta: 382 Calories, 4.5g fat, 1.1g sat fat, 66g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 9g fiber, 173mg calcium, 7.2mg iron, 33 mg vitamin C