Recipes from Arkansas to Malibu

Gramma Sue’s Spaghetti Sauce

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November 12, 2016

I used to host Pasta Feeds before doing triathlons. (By doing I mean finishing only) It was one of the only good reasons I had for doing triathlons! I usually finish top 10% in the swim, top half in the bike, and bottom 0.1% in the run. Oh well – At least I got to make Mom’s spaghetti sauce. I remember coming home from swim practice in high school and eating 4 helpings of this. Those were the days! Thanks Mom!

  • Prep: 18 mins
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Yields: 8 Servings


1 lb Ground Beef*

1 Onion, chopped

1 Large Can Crushed Tomatoes

12 oz. Tomato Paste

12 oz. Water or Red Wine

3 Garlic Cloves, chopped

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

2 tbsp Dried Parsley

1/2 tsp Fennel Seed (or pinch of ground fennel)*


1Brown Ground Beef and onions together, adding garlic in the last two minutes. Drain.

2Add everything together (Godfather style) and simmer for at least one hour.

Fennel: Fennel adds a unique taste that I grew up with and like, but it’s not for everybody.  As my friend and excellent cook Antonio enthusiastically told me, as he was peeling and eating raw fennel foraged from a nearby garden, "You can't go wrong with fennel!"

Sometimes, I will substitute Italian Sausage Meat and use that instead of Ground Beef.


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