I got a few comments about "real Italian" sauce. So I thought I would post my recipe for it and my daddy's meatballs. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I could never write a cookbook. I don't measure anything. So, this is a 'guess-timate' of sorts.
I collect cookbooks. All kinds. But, I don't typically follow a recipe down to the letter. I find a recipe that appeals to me. I read it and then interpret it in my own way. Rachael Ray is always saying on her show that "it's really about the method." And that's how I cook. I swap out, substitute and replace ingredients all of the time. Some of my kids favorite meals are the ones that 'I just threw together.' A little of this, a little of that. So feel free to change to change this recipe to suit the tastes of your family. I do however want to stress that pork makes the best sauce. My grandmother taught me that. And my father and his sisters all say the same thing. If you want to make a meat sauce, try making it with ground Italian sausage. It can be sweet or hot depending on your liking. My father always fries Italian sausage (in the casing) along with his meatballs. It just gives your sauce a better flavor. Holly is famous for saying that she doctors up jarred sauce. Well if you're going to go to the trouble of adding this or that to a jarred sauce, you might as well make your own. Even if you're making a quick marinara (meaning with no meat.) Fry your onions and garlic, add your herbs and a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of sauce. It's very easy and I think if you try it, you'd never go back to jarred sauce.
1-2 lb. country style ribs
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
2 large cans of tomato sauce
2 large cans of tomato puree
1 large can of water
Handful of fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
10-12 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, 2 T. sugar
In a very large sauce pot, brown ribs in a little extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside. In the same pot, saute onions and garlic until translucent. Add all of the tomatoes and one can of water. I swish water around the cans to get all of the tomato sauce (etc) out. Add your ribs back to the pot and meatballs. Season with salt and pepper, a small palmful of paprika, crushed red pepper (to your taste, but I add maybe a quarter size and I crush them in my hand to release the oils) and sugar. Now, if you prefer a sweeter sauce, add as much as you want. Sometimes I don't add any sugar. It all depends on the acidity of the tomatoes. This is strictly a judgment call. Add the fresh herbs and simmer for 2-3 hours.
1 1/2 lb ground beef
3/4 lb ground veal
3/4 lb ground pork
1 C. Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 C. Parmeggiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese
Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley (small handful, chopped)
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped.
Salt and pepper to taste
My father taught me that the key to moist meatballs is to wet your breadcrumbs. Add at least a 1/2 cup of water for each cup of breadcrumbs and let them soak. Mix all ingredients together, including moistened bread crumbs. Roll into a nice size ball, about the size of a plum. Fry in a little bit of olive oil, turning occasionally so as not to burn.
Edited to add comment: I realize this makes a large amount of sauce. But, on any given Sunday there may be 4 people eating or there may be 12 people eating. Make the entire batch and freeze some of it. It freezes well.