Category Archives: ItOWLian Secrets

Tomato Sauce With Pigs Feet

This is one version of my father’s sauce…he had many. This is my favorite. You could also add meatballs and italian sausage to this sweet/hot or both.

  • 2 pigs feet
  • 1 pound pork neck bones
  • 1 pound bracciole
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2- 28 ounce can of tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • 1 can water
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper and, with a bit of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot brown all sides of each piece of meat.  Remove and set aside on a plate.
  2. After all the meat is browned, add the onions and use the meat fat already in the pan to cook till soft (about 6-8 minutes), adding more olive oil if necessary. Add garlic and stir, cook for about a minute.
  3. Add the wine and deglaze, scraping up the bits of goodness that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan.  Allow to reduce for a few minutes until it has reduced by about half.
  4. Add tomato sauce, oregano,sugar  and one can of water and  (use the tomato can). Stir.
  5. Add back the meat except the bracciole (which won’t be added until the last hour).  Bring to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for five hours.  Stir periodically
  6. At hour number four, add back the bracciole and allow to simmer for one more hour.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper .  Remove all the meat and serve separately from the gravy.   Serve over pasta and sprinkle with fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Sicilian Rabbit

My father would make this after a day of hunting when I was a young girl…it was comforting and delicious! If you do not like rabbit it is just as good with chicken or cornish hens.
 One  2 1/2-pound rabbit, cut into 8 pieces ( you may also use a 3 1/2 pound chicken cut up or two cornish game hens))
    6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large  onion, thinly sliced
1 pound  potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
2 cups sliced pitted brine-cured Sicilian green olives
1 cup cured Sicilian black olives
1/2 cup capers
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 fresh thyme sprig
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (or more) water
Fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
 1/4 cup white wine 
 kosher salt
black pepper

Rinse rabbit and pat dry; season all sides  with salt and pepper. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add rabbit to pot and brown, turning often, (do not crowd, you may need to work in batches) about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer rabbit to bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Mix in potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, celery, capers, garlic, and thyme; cook 5 minutes. Mix in wine, vinegar and 1/4 cup water. Add rabbit. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Cover and simmer until rabbit is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon vegetables into large dish. Top with rabbit. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.