This is what I used to watch my grandfather do. I will admit to cheating with dried parsley or ready chopped garlic. He would tell me I was lazy, but what the hey. Any questions, ask and I will help.


Two cans of Italian imported plumb tomatoes with puree, the better the tomatoes the better the sauce.
One small-can of tomato paste
One medium small onion chopped finely
Fresh parsley, (or dried, I'm sorry grandpa)1/2 cup or so
Garlic, garlic, you know garlic.
Two or so tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
A cup of good Cianti, (drink some if you like, the old Italian relatives did)
A little sugar to taste, (some people like a sweet sauce, some don't like to add it at all. It's up to you, but it cuts down the acid of the tomatoes).

Empty cans of plumb tomatoes into a large pot. With your hands squeeze tomatoes until they are broken up in small pieces, nice to squish feels (gucky).
In a small frying pan cook chopped the second onion in the olive oil until soft, (not browned, but almost),€ and sweet.
When finished,, take the can of paste and put in with onions. Lightly fry it. You will know it's ready when the paste takes on a slightly different golder color. (I know, but you will see what I mean). Add two and a half cans of water using the empty plumb tomato cans. Add paste and onions to the plumb tomatoes and stir well. Add Cianti, add more later if you want. You will taste and taste after adding S & P, so if you'd like to add more, go for it. Turn on low to make a slow simmer.

Meats to add:


One and a half lbs. ground chuck
Two large or three small, mild or hot Italian sausages, depending on the size and your taste for hot or not. Open casings and put the sausage meat in with the hamburger. My grandfather added ground veal, but I don't. Veal is mild and veal is expensive.
One cup of Italian flavored bread crumbs
One large egg
One finely chopped onion, (small-medium)
Fresh or dried parsley 1/2 cup
Cheese, Mmmmm good Romano only! I use almost a cup of grated fresh Pecorino Romano

Mix with your hands well and shape into meat balls, big ones if you're lazy.
Fry meatballs in a small amount of olive oil till brown all around. Then eat one, yummy. Add to the rest to the sauce.

Lightly brown a piece or two of cheap pork and add it.
I make Braciole, and add it sometimes after browning. But that's another recipe for another post.
Got any leftover beef, throw it in. One of my sisters adds leftover chicken. I don't usually, but hey, whatever turns you on.
Brown another few sausages (leave in casing), and add to sauce too.

Simmer and stir, simmer and stir. It will take awhile, hours, but the pork will get soft and pull apart and then you will know you are there.

Taste, and add salt and pepper till you're happy, put on whatever kind of spaghetti you like. I like Fusilli or Rotini, the sauce gets all into the crevasses. Top with fresh grated Romano and eat.


  1. Beth Trissel // February 2, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

    Looks yummy to me, Mary. So, are you cooking dinner tonight?

  2. Cyrano // February 2, 2009 at 2:43 PM  

    Sounds like a great recipe.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Liz Jasper // February 2, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

    Hey, my kind of cooking. Nicely explained recipe and sounds good!

  4. Arkansas Cyndi // February 2, 2009 at 4:14 PM  


    We're all coming to you house for dinner. What can I bring? Wine? :)

    Sounds WONDERFUL. I'm needin' me some Italian!

  5. Scarlet Pumpernickel // February 2, 2009 at 6:54 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  6. Scarlet Pumpernickel // February 2, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

    Oops! messed up and had to delete my message! Sorry! Here it is again:
    One of my favorite dishes! Can't wait to give it a try. I love, love, love Italian food! Last night my daughter and I went to Cafe' Intermezzmo in Atlanta and had Italian Bosco! A new threat for us and it was wonderful. Went great with the cup of Spanish Mokka we ordered with it. Dreamy, yum!


  7. Mary Ricksen // February 2, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

    For desert for me it's gotta be a cannoli. How about you guys?

    It's the sausage in the meatballs that gives it a really special flavor. Try it and you'll be surprised.

    It is good. And I wanted to be a chef, but my parents didn't think it was lucrative career. Ha! I'd be pushing Emeril out of the way!

    Let me know if anyone try's it.

  8. Mary Marvella // February 2, 2009 at 7:43 PM  

    Scarlet went without me?

    Mary, your recipe is making me hungry and I just ate.

  9. Joanne // February 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

    Any Italian will tell you--if you have a good sauce, you have a good meal. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  10. Judy // February 3, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

    Yummy! I love family recipes where memory is blended with menu...