(2021 Update: Weather we like it or not, we eat according to the times in which we live. Right now, those times spell doom for meat. The price is through the roof. Enter spaghetti. It has always been a savior's meal to tough times on the pocket book. Sausages are economical. More and more grocery stores are putting out cuts of meat never seen before because they are cheap. Pig's feet is one on them. Cheese is not cheap, so try to find it on sale. The other day one my favorite grocery stores had pasta on sale for one dollar a box, a real bargain. I bought five.
I recently purchased a new cookbook: "ODD BITS" recipes for the rest of the animal "head to tail." There is a chapter devoted to nothing but feet--from chickens to cattle. Ox-tail used to be considered an "odd bit," but it became so trendy that I recently saw a package for over 20 dollars! Hopefully, the price of pigs' feet won't make us squeal.)
- 1.5 lbs. fresh Italian sausage
- 1-2 pigs feet (about 1 lb.) washed, boiled and re-washed
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, including juice, chopped (see update)
- 1/2-1 cup water (or dry, red wine)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh fennel seeds
- salt and pepper (more pepper than salt)
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh oregano leaves
- Grated cheese (Parmesan, Romano, etc)
Update: Wow. I've now made this several times. People who eat it want more, more, more. This is Italian "gravy." It is not a marinara sauce of just tomatoes. There's a world of difference between the two. The amount of tomatoes you use will depend on the amount of meat you add. The more meat--the more tomatoes. Start with a balance and go from there.
* Okay... A meatball is not just a meatball. It all depends on how and in what you are going to serve it. I no longer use egg in my meatballs. I use Ricotta.