Today I’m giving away a secret family recipe. Okay, I might not be that secret, for all I know my mom got this recipe for spaghetti sauce out of Good Housekeeping, but it’s been a staple in my family’s recipe box for as long as I can remember. We’ve been using this recipe for so long that it actually lists monosodium glutamate (MSG) as one of the ingredients! Don’t worry, I’ve omitted that part! I love the legacy of cooking this sauce for my husband and daughter and can’t wait to pass it onto her one day. That being said, this recipe is so good that it would be a crime to keep it locked away in my recipe book and not share it with you! This sauce has so much flavor and the perfect texture. It’s wonderful on spaghetti, lasagne, baked ziti, manicotti, you name it!
Start off by chopping the onion and adding it to a pot with one pound of ground beef. Brown the meat and drain in a colander. Put the cooked beef and onions back into the pot. At this point I like to use my wooden spoon to break up the ground beef into really small pieces- I think it allows for a good meat to pasta ratio when it comes time to eat!
Next add all your remaining ingredients and stir to combine. If you’re going to let it simmer for the full 3 hours (which I recommend if you have the time!) then add the 2 cups of water. If you need your sauce a little sooner than that add just enough water to let the sauce come together at your preferred consistency. And don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving!
Pair this sauce with your favorite pasta, some fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and warm garlic bread and you’ll have the perfect Italian feast right in your own home. I hope this recipe becomes your family’s favorite just like it is ours!
Bonus Tip: This spaghetti sauce freezes really well! Freeze it in a glass container or flat in a freezer-bag to have it on hand in a dinner emergency or as part of your monthly meal-prep! Warm it up on the stove and serve.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14 oz. can diced (or petite diced) tomatoes
- 1 12 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 snipped parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large pot cook ground beef and chopped onion until beef is lightly browned and onions are soft. Drain excess fat and return to pot.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes to 3 hours until sauce is thick. Stir occasionally.
- Remove bay leaf and serve over your favorite pasta.