Occasionally in life you meet someone who truly changes your life. This happened to me in 1998 when I decided the time was right to buy a house. On the advice of a friend, I met with a realtor, Phyllis Harb, who took me on as a client. Two and a half dizzying weeks later I found myself in escrow on a beat up but amazing old fixer-upper that is probably the house in which I will die.
Finding the house and fixing it up is a story for another day. And if that were my only interaction with Phyllis, I would be blessed because not only has the house changed my life, she is an amazing person who guides you through a very stressful time. Thankfully that was not my only interaction with her. Over the years she has become a dear and trusted friend. Phyllis is one of the more thoughtful and generous persons I’ve ever met.
Phyllis herself has a wonderful home and once a year or so she will have a few ‘former clients’ over for cocktails and dinner. Last year about ten of us showed up for her version of what East Coast Italians call ‘Sunday Gravy’, a meat laden tomato sauce Esquire described as “A sacred meal for a sacred day born in the kitchen of an Italian-American family.”
As any follower of this blog knows, I love tomatoes and love me a great tomato sauce. I’ve already done posts on tomato sauce here and here and here. When Phyllis served us this deep rich sauce over pasta, however, I knew I was going to do another post because when I took my first bite, I thought I was going to die. It was so @#%#$ good!! Once again, Phyllis changed my life. I told her that night she had to teach me how to make it and she readily agreed.
This is an amazing sauce. It’s incredibly thick, marvelously so. Packed with meat, it has a rich, divine flavor. I served a batch on Oscar night and everyone at my house declared it the best red sauce they had ever eaten. It truly is that good.
For more great pictures and the incredible recipe, click here: Continue reading