Sunday, July 29, 2012

Meat Sauce

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This recipe is listed on Domestic Randomness

Being Italian, I was raised eating pasta.  I love all kinds of pasta:  spaghetti, ravioli, mostaccioli, fettuccine.  The key to good pasta is a great sauce.   All of my family members make their sauce differently, but they all have key ingredients.  My Nonna made the best sauce ever!

My Nonna and Nonnu with me

My Nonna and Nonnu were from Sicily.  I remember going to their house when I was little and she was always cooking.  Everytime we were there she made us eat.  "Mangia, mangia," she would always say.  They spoke very little English.  I loved listening to them, always arguing like Italians do - we are passionate people!  She died when I was little but I have some great memories.

This recipe is one that I have tweaked over the years.


1 pound ground round
1/2 pound ground salsicha (italian sausage)
4 cans tomato sauce
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup sugar

Brown the beef and sausage.  Add the onions and garlic.  Saute together for 5 minutes or so.  Add the two cans of crushed tomatoes, wine, cheese, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar.

Let that simmer for 30 minutes or so.  Add the rest of the sauce and cook it all day.  The longer it cooks, the better it is.

My mother does not like to put sugar in her sauce.  Instead, she blends the crushed tomatoes with a carrot.  She feels like the carrot adds the right amount of sweetness.  I enjoy my sauce a little sweeter, so I add sugar.

My Nonna added several pieces of meat and bones in her sauce.  She added meatballs to her sauce and let them cook in the sauce. Adding the meat bones and meatballs does add flavor to the sauce, but it also adds greasiness.  She would skim the grease off the top of the sauce.  I would rather skip that step, so I brown my meat first and let it finish cooking in the sauce. 

As my Nonna would say, "Mangia!"

This recipe is featured on Foodie Friends Friday! and Buns In My OvenWeekend Potluck and Simple Living and Eating!


  1. I know how frustrating it is to pour yourself into a blog and not get any comments. You start to wonder if an one is even reading! It takes i huge chunk of time to do this so here i am telling you rest assured, you have at least one reader, and while Im a lazy reader and never comment (mostly because my creative wit is on are at that moment) i do read and save some of your yummy ideas! Your hard work is enjoyed here by me!
    Stinging off, mmmmm pasta sauce meatball subs - Sara!

  2. Wit is on BREAK! BREAK,not are- SEE! This is what i get for commenting! Public humiliation ;)

    Thanks for sharing cousin!

  3. What a lovely blog you have! I enjoyed reading about your grandmother. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back and VOTE on Sunday!

  4. Your story brings back memories of my childhood. Thanks so much for sharing it along with your recipe.

    Joanne/Winelady Cooks

  5. I also grew up in an Italian household. Your sauce looks delicious. I just made sauce last night for my eggplant lasagna and I will use some for stuffed peppers which I'm making today! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Looks good! What size cans of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes?

    Thank You

    1. Hi Sandy,

      I use the larger 16 oz cans.

    2. 64 oz of tomato sauce? and 32 oz of crushed tomatoes? When it comes to the spices, do you add more of one than another? Again, just making sure before I start.

    3. It does make a large pot but that is more to freeze! Use about 1 tablespoon of each spice. I never measure-just add to taste

  7. Always a pleasure to see recipes and hear the stories of the "Mini-machi" family. :)


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all feedback!