"I'm gonna make him a pasta sauce he can't refuse..."

The recent weather has lead to many things, mostly which have involved cleaning, movies, and the cuddles. By movies, I more specifically mean The Godfather trilogy. Brian, always ready and willing to try anything related to his favorite cinema, mentioned the loose recipe that Clemenza was trying to teach Mikey, in case he needed to feed, "20 guys someday".

"Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh…? And a little bit o' wine. An' a little bit o' sugar, and that's my trick."

Brian pulled out the iPhone and searched for the exact recipe for awhile and came up with something fairly precise. It was basically my own Mother's recipe, plus red wine and minus the bay leaf. He was pretty set on making it, because, well Brian is stubborn. We only really had one problem, the one where I don't eat meat. So veggi-izing something that I grew up with, and Brian had high expectations of might have been a little tricky.
Growing up Italian you learn to love a few certain foods above most others; tomatoes, garlic, olives [and their oils], cheese, sausage, pasta, meatballs, and I'm sorry to say veal. I knew I wanted something that tasted like sausage, something with a kick. I managed to find Light Life's Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style meat substitute for around 2.50 at Kroger's, which was cheaper than the Morningstar Grill Starters, and already claimed to taste like sausage, so we gave it a go. The rest of the ingredients were already Vegged out so it was pretty easy past that point. We ended up getting;

-1 tube of veggie sausage substitute
-2 large cans of whole tomatoes
-3 small cans of tomato paste
-1/2 carton of sliced white mushrooms
-1 sweet onion
-a generous helping of olive oil
-4-6 cloves of chopped garlic
- oregano
- basil
- salt and pepper
- a decent red wine [Note: I recommend a good Cabernet. We got a double-bottle of Livingston Cabernet Sauvignon for $5.99. It was a pretty decent red wine for that price and it gives the pasta a nice, full-bodied flavor. We went through the whole bottle by the end of the evening. -Brian]
- some sugar

Heat the pot that you want your sauce to be in to a high heat with the olive oil. Once it's hot add your garlic, mushrooms, and chopped onion. Right before your onions are done [they should be clear once they're cooked] start adding your fake meats. I just clipped the end off of the sausage tube, and squeezed the "meat" into the pan. It's a lot sticker than ground beef so you kind of have to chop it up with a wooden spoon and keep it moving around the bottom of the pan so it doesn't stick. If it does start sticking though, add a little bit more oil, or a splash of red wine [from the cup which you should be drinking right now, you know, for the whole experience.]. Now you want to make sure to season the "meat" pretty thoroughly with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Continue cooking everything in the pan until the "sausage" is crumbly and crisp. Add both of your cans of whole tomato's, and stir everything together. Add your wine, which is to taste, but I added about a cup and a half to mine [which is what a full wine glass and a splash from the bottle is]. Add more salt and pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons of both your basil and oregano. Mix in your tomato paste, making sure it gets distributed evenly. Then add about a fourth cup sugar. Keep stirring until it looks pretty uniform, turn the heat to low and cover your sauce. I let it sit, occasionally stirring for about ten minutes.
By now you should have already started boiling your noodles, Brian and I like whole wheat penne for this, it's good, and pretty healthy. Make sure to throw some olive oil on the noodles when they're in the strainer so they don't stick together.
Throw together a salad with a vinaigrette, make some garlic bread, and turn on the godfather. Makes for a great snow day, and your house will smell great, like my Moms.