Family dinners were always special when I was growing up. My mother, Fran Parisi, was (and is) a fantastic home cook. Even though she had a full-time job, she always made traditional Italian-American recipes completely from scratchas you'd expect from the daughter of a restaurateur who emigrated from Sicily to Brooklyn. So when I introduced her to my favorite jarred marinara sauce, I was braced to hear, "Your grandfather would roll over in his grave." But instead, she said, "I'm amazed at the quality of jarred sauces nowadays." I won't serve just anything from a jar (a matter of prideI blame my mother!), but I'm pleased with the shortcuts in the recipes here. And they're Fran-approved, too.
Grace's Time-Saving Tips
Grace halves and cores Italian frying peppers and cooks the spinach for the stuffing.
Instead of ground meat, Grace uses sausage to give the stuffing fast flavor.