Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

My husband and his family are constantly telling me how great their Grandmother’s cooking was when they were growing up. As an Italian and the Matriarch of the family, she was adept at bringing the whole family together for a meal. They all get so excited when they recount all the tasty meals she used to prepare from scratch. That’s right! Those spectacular home cooked recipes from the old country are the stuff that myths are made of (something I know nothing about). Especially since Nana Onusic cooked by feel. Meaning? A pinch of this and a snip of that. Not exactly helpful when once she’s passed away, and you want to recreate the meals she used to make. So I have been on a hunt for a spaghetti sauce recipe that is both delicious and easy to produce. This is the first one that my husband has liked. And believe me, I have tried tons! So, in honor of Nana Onusic, I have decided o start some of our own Garcia Family traditions. So if you too are looking to make some spaghetti sauce from scratch, here is a little recipe from me to you.

This recipe makes about ten servings. So you can have yummy leftovers or freeze the extra sauce for another week. Or you can use it as the sauce for a yummy lasagna for the end of the week. Believe it or not, my husband loves it so much, that I have to double this recipe, in order to have leftovers. This is one of the base recipes for my Garcia Family Cookbook. Enjoy!

Mama Kerrie’s Spaghetti Sauce

2 lbs Ground Italian sausage
1 small onion (chopped)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
3 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I usually put 1/2 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon pepper

Cooking Instructions:
-In a large skillet brown Italian sausage. It is much easier to stir without spilling. Break up sausage into bits as you stir. When sausage is about halfway cooked, add onions and continue to cook until they have become soft and sausage is cooked through. Then drain grease and set aside.

In a large pot, add garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Mix them well. Add the sausage and onion mixture and mix until combined.

In a small bowl, mix basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Add spices to the pot and mix well. Bring sauce to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce heat to low.

Simmer on low stirring frequently for at least 2 hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles. Or use as it as the base for your lasagna.



Family Traditions – following my grandma’s footsteps

IMG_1063 Growing up, we spent most Thanksgivings with my mom’s family. They are incredibly fond memories for me and my brother. The food, the fun, and the family. Up until recently, I didn’t participate in the preparation of our family Thanksgiving dinners. My grandma did most of the cooking with some help from my mom and my aunts.

IMG_3142About eight years ago as my grandma started getting older, I began helping her prepare her pies. Mostly, I peeled, cored, and sliced the apples for her, because it bothered her hands. I wasn’t ready for much more than that. I could barely boil water at the time. So I watched and learned and participated in the process. After a few years I began to feel comfortable with the whole process. And little by little, I began to partake in the pie making process. And now, I do most of the work and have been for about four years now. So every year, the day before Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve, I go over to my grandma’s house for a morning of pie making. We have a big family, so we make a total of six pies; blackberry, apple, and pumpkin.

I really enjoy these days with my grandma. We spend a lot of the time talking. I get to hear stories from my grandma about her childhood and her family. Things I didn’t know before and wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t spend these days with my grandma. Our pie tradition has many benefits; two of which I feel are the most beneficial. First, I am learning a skill from my grandma that I can pass on to my daughter and so on. I’m keeping the tradition alive. And second, I am learning about family ancestors I never had the chance to meet or know well. It’s great. Something I look forward to the day when I get to do it with my granddaughter. Hopefully later than sooner, it you know what I mean.