Hey Foodies, Aimee here! I have a funny/yummy story for you that I think you may get a kick out of.
I recently became reunited with my former best friend Nicole from my school days. We had lost touch and hadn’t spoken in about 13 years. Since I spend all day on the phone at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is get on the horn. It’s because of this that Nicole & I have been using text messages to catch up with one another.
Kevin, played the part of my lovely assistant. We started out with a little olive oil and garlic in an 8 quart pot on medium high. Kevin roughly chopped a white onion and tossed it in to saute as well. He started opening the canned, peeled tomatoes and pureed them in the food processor, while I cut the 5 links of sweet Italian sausage in halves, turned the burner on High. I tossed them into the pot, rotating after a few minutes to be sure all sides were brown. Kevin handed me a large bowl to transfer the sausage over while he unwrapped and rinsed the baby back ribs and added them. I browned those on both sides & transferred them into the meat bowl as well.
While Aimee was sleeping, I couldn’t help himself, I got up and took a little taste of the sauce and though it was finally starting to thicken I thought the flavor needed to be enhanced a bit. So, I did something out of the ordinary …I improvised while cooking! (I know, shocking, right? Haha.) I added more Italian seasoning (a little over a tablespoon), 1/2 tablespoon of dried Basil, and a tiny pinch of crushed red pepper flake. I know that Aimee would kill me if she saw me adding that to the gravy because she is a afraid of spices, but it needed a little zip. This wasn’t that big of a stretch, since Aimee’s mother uses hot sauce in her own gravy recipe to off set the sweetness of the tomatoes. The taste was great. I gave the gravy a stir now and then and kept it partially covered in between. When Aimee woke up, the first thing she did was check the gravy pot! She was pleasantly surprised that the sauce had thickened over time and I eyed her carefully as she grabbed a clean spoon and went in for a taste. I was a little afraid she would notice the kick from the red pepper flakes but instead she said ‘Mmm!’ and smiled at me. Phew! I was in the clear and we were well on our way to having a delicious gravy with our fresh pasta ravioli for dinner.
OK, well, just so you all know – I only found out about the red pepper flakes on Wednesday, a good 3 days later. Kevin is very lucky I didn’t see him put that red pepper in because there likely would have been an argument over that! And it’s okay because now I can say he was totally right in doing so. It’s a win/win. Kevin gets to be right and the red pepper flakes worked well in the sauce. Kevin boiled up the ravioli while I got out our pasta bowls from the cabinet and sliced some Italian bread. Within 10 or 15 minutes we were sitting down to enjoy our wonderful Sunday Sauce. It was a beautiful deep red and full of flavor. Note to Self: Next time don’t add garlic until after I’ve seared the meat.
I’m so glad this worked out, even though there were a few bumps in the road, our gravy was totally worth every cent it cost to make, every hour it it took to simmer and every second of anxiety it gave the both of us!
Aimee & Kevin Ellis
Foodies 101 husband and wife columnists Aimee & Kevin Ellis came to our attention when they guest blogged for HVRW Fall 2012 for the first time. By day they both work in customer service & sales but in their downtime they love to travel, try new restaurants and experiment with recipes in their own kitchen. They strive to support small and local businesses and really enjoy blogging about their experiences. With Kevin being an adventurous eater and Aimee being picky, they form an honest, unique and curious voice that will easily allow you to go along with them for the ride. They blog at Eats and Treats. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.