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spaghetti sauce

I can remember when I was growing up, my mother would make spaghetti sauce. She would simmer the pot all day long. The house would smell great. Does anyone have an old family recipe similar to this? Most of the recipes I have found just want to "get it done quick"
Thanks in advance.

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  1. I grew up with a friend's mother and a neighbor who both made: "Sunday Sauce/Gravy".

    Vita Greco's recipe is close to what my friend's mother used to have for us. Friday night, stop by their house, have a bowl of pasta with sauce and a pork/veal/lamb chop fished out of the pot.

    Vita Greco's Gravy Recipe can be found on the Food Channel's site.

    1. do a search on this site (or elsewhere) for Bolognese sauce (Marcella Hazan is whose I use). It's an amazing (meat-based) sauce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DGresh

        Bolognese does have to cook all day, but for me (and I think most Italian Americans), you need just plain tomatoes and lots of meatballs, sausage, braciole and most importantly, some type of bone to thicken it.

      2. We LOVE the following recipe. I was skeptical at first because the sauce really doesn't look or taste like much when you put it together...but after simmering with the meatballs for 3 hours (or more), it is FANTASTIC. I usually add a little basil and oregano, too.

        Meatball Gravy (Spaghetti Sauce)
        Meatballs:
        2 pounds ground beef
        4 eggs
        1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
        3/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
        2 garlic cloves, chopped
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1 teaspoon ground black pepper
        1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
        1/4 cup olive oil

        Gravy (sauce):
        1 medium onion, chopped
        1 garlic clove, chopped
        1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
        2 (28-ounce) cans ground tomatoes
        3/4 (28-ounce) can water (from empty ground tomato can), or 21 ounces water
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
        1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

        For the meatballs: Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Mix well. Form about 16 meatballs and place on a platter. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry meatballs over medium heat until browned. Repeat until all meatballs are browned. Place meatballs on new clean platter. Do not discard the oil.

        For the Gravy: In the skillet, heat the reserved oil, add the onion and garlic and saute for approximately 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Fill the empty tomato paste can full of water, add to the skillet, and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat and set aside.

        In an 8-quart saucepan, add the ground tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Fill the empty ground tomato can 3/4 full of water and add to the saucepan, along with the tomato paste mixture from the skillet and the reserved browned meatballs. Mix thoroughly but carefully with a wooden spoon so as to not break the meatballs. Add the salt, ground pepper, and parsley and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, then cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent sticking and burning on bottom of pan. Serve over al dente pasta and sprinkle with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese, along with crusty Italian bread and a good bottle of red wine.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wyf4lyf

          Are the bread crumbs in the meatballs fresh or dried?

          1. re: jmax

            Haven't made this in awhile, but I'm pretty sure I used dried bread crumbs. Usually I'll type "fresh bread crumbs" in a recipe if dried aren't supposed to be used.

        2. Great, now I'm hungry again....seriously, this is very close to my family's recipe. The aunties used to say, too, that a little pork "Sweetened" the sauce (I'm sure that was stretching it) but they'd always throw in a pork chop (the lucky pork chop--the person who got it was "lucky") or a little pork sausage, something like that. But I'm sure the above would be good without.

          1. A great spag sauce is so verstile. There is a sauce that I've been making that's been a favorite of my husband's. It definitely is a meat-lover's sauce. The longer you cook this the better it tastes.

            I don't usually measure anything when I make this sauce so I'm making a guess about the measurements. It will be very close. You might need to tweak it for your own tastes.

            2 cans of Hunt's spaghetti sauce
            1 can of garlic roasted tomato paste
            2 cloves of garlic crushed
            1 rib of celery diced
            1 med. onion diced
            1/4 lb. of lean ground beef
            1/4 lb. of hot ground sausage
            1 pork chop with bone
            1 handful of pepperoni
            1 green pepper diced
            1/2 t. oregano
            2 bay leaves
            1/2 t. basil
            1/2 t. thyme
            1/2 t. red pepper flakes

            1. Put all meats, spices, onions, tomato paste and garlic in medium sauce pan. Brown the meats.

            2. Add everything else. Simmer for at least 3 hours. You can let it simmer for the entire day. The longer it simmers the better it tastes.

            I've tried all kinds of ways to make this sauce with canned tomatoes or different brands of sauces and quite honestly I thought Hunt's was the best.

            As far the meats go, use only extra lean ground beef. If the sauce sounds too spicy use regular ground pork. You definitely need the pork chop on the bone as well as the pepperoni.

            I usually make at least a double batch and use some of the leftovers to make lasagna!

            Good luck!