Recipe: Spaghetti

31 Mar

There are some recipes that stay in families for decades. They’re the ones your great grandma made, (you might even have a picture of her making those homemade tortillas, or like in me, stirring spaghetti sauce), the ones your grandma taught your mom, and your mom taught you. I remember standing in the kitchen with my mom, sometime in my early teens, watching her easily sprinkle and pour spices into our family’s spaghetti sauce without a measuring cup or spoon. And the bay leaves- I remember the bay leaves. She always joked that whoever got the bay leaf did the dishes. (But we all knew us kids did the dishes, even if Dad pulled out the bay leaf on his first bite.) These are the recipes that bring waves of memories to us with each bite. Recipes like the one I share today.

Our Family Spaghetti Sauce


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • Pinch of the following (in the meat, and double in the sauce):
    • Rosemary
    • Oregano
    • Basil
    • Thyme
    • Sage
  • Lots of the following (in the meat, and double in the sauce):
    • Pepper
    • Garlic
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
  • 1 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar for the meat, 1 tsp for the sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce for the meat, 1 tsp for the sauce
  • 1 large (15 oz) can tomato sauce, plus 1 small (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 small cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
  • Mushrooms (one package is fine)
  • Two bay leaves


  1. Brown beef, sausage, onions, spices, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a large pan until meat is cooked through.
  2. While meat cooks, combine spices for sauce, vinegar for sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and tomato paste in a large pot. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Combine meat and sauce, add mushrooms and bay leaves.
  4. Allow to simmer until ready to serve, but stir regularly. If you scorch the bottom, it’ll all taste burned. Serve over spaghetti pasta.

We hope you enjoy this hearty spaghetti sauce recipe as much as we do. It’s something of a legend, truth be told. Do you have any family recipes? We’d love to hear them. Leave your recipe or links in the comments!

Download the .pdf version of this recipe HERE.


6 Responses to “Recipe: Spaghetti”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide March 31, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Nice post, my grandma’s recipes are among my most coveted too!

    • chefshellina March 31, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      Oh yeah- they really can’t be beat. Nothin but warm memories and happy tummies. 🙂

  2. kim @ girlevolving March 31, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    My mom put bay leaves in chili and it was always a game for us for who could find them!

    • chefshellina March 31, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      Those kind of memories are so fun- the kind I’m hoping I’ll pass on to my own kids. 🙂

  3. literarychicks78 March 31, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been craving homemade spaghetti sauce, but I lost my recipe. Canned stuff just can’t compare to homemade.

    • chefshellina March 31, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

      Oh, I know! Let me know how you like it. 🙂

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