Real Christmas begins when I start to make sauce not when they start Christmas music at Malwart the day after Arbor Day. There is just that right moment when I know it is time. I begin by assembling the ingredients, plan my attack, schedule half day of active industry, get it simmering, and then 3 days to spend cosseting the stuff occasionally stirring, correcting flavors, adding cheese, salt, wine, sugar sometimes.
This sauce takes a long time to mature and even then it hasn’t finished its journey. I made 3 quarts of this sublime tincture and it took me 4 days. The transition from bright red tomato sauce to deep red/brown gravy is almost imperceptible and absolutely indolent. But the smell in my condo (one of the few I can tolerate) is when you know Christmas is in the air. I used it for meatball, sausages, lasagna and cannelloni…I still have 1/4 of a jar left. I will use it wisely.