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Monday, November 10, 2008

Texans Cheerleader Spotlight: Nicole 

Posted by Sasha at 7:36 PM ET

October 21, 2008
HoustonTexans.com



When Texans Cheerleader Nicole was growing up, her parents reserved each Sunday for preparing and enjoying an Italian feast. The centerpiece of the meal was her family’s legendary red sauce.

The recipe for the sauce has been passed down for generations by her father’s Italian relatives. It’s a recipe that Nicole’s grandmother taught the family before she passed away.

“My dad is full Italian and before his mom passed away, she taught my mother all of the family recipes,” Nicole said. “This is something my family had every Sunday back when we were little, and I’ve kind of made it part of my own tradition.”

Nicole certainly would make her grandmother proud, because making the family red sauce is one of her favorite things to do. And she does it very well.

The second-year veteran begins by picking high quality meat. She prefers spicy sausage, lamb shank and chuck roast.

“My grandfather and dad used to help me find the best cut of meat,” Nicole said. “They would really get to know the butcher, which really makes a big difference when you are making your sauce.”

She uses lots of garlic.

“Minced garlic will cure anything,” Nicole said. “When I was little, I never got sick because I was always eating tons and tons of garlic. It is the best thing for you.”

And, most importantly, she never wears white while cooking.

“One of the biggest things about making red sauce, never ever wear a white shirt,” Nicole said. “Because something is going to end up on it, and it will be red forever.”

Nicole’s red sauce takes about six hours from beginning to end, but it is well worth the wait. The sauce can be served over any pasta, although she recommends rigatoni, and should be topped with Loccatelli Romano or Reggiano cheese.

Nicole completes the meal by making a fresh salad and garlic bread with an olive oil dipping sauce.

Delisioso!

Texans fans, now you can enjoy the legendary sauce and make it your Battle Red meal on Sundays!

Nicole’s red sauce recipe:

• Braise meat in skillet over medium heat (any combination of trimmed chuck roast, country style pork ribs, Italian sausage or lamb shank)

• Remove meat, lower heat and braise several large tablespoons of minced garlic and 1 diced yellow onion

• Add 2 cans of flash-blended, whole peeled tomatoes and 1 can of crushed Italian Roma tomatoes

• Add 1 medium can of tomato sauce

• Lower heat and simmer for 5 hours

• Season with 2 dashes of red pepper flakes, 2 dashes of ground cloves, ground pepper to taste and 3 large tablespoons of mixed Italian seasoning

• Add salt to taste after all other flavors have been blended

• Optional: ½ cup of red wine and ½-1 stick of butter

• Stir frequently and enjoy!

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