Grandma Errico’s Best Sauce

I am Southern and Italian.

What does that mean? Food is the center of life.

When a baby is born, you bring food. When someone dies, you bring food.

For all the times in between:

new car?



new house?


any given Sunday?


because you feel like it?

Yeah. All of those things plus all the ones I didn’t mention require food and lots of it.

Let’s call this occasion a celebration of life, shall we? My Grandma passed away this week after suffering from Alzheimer’s for 12 years. Grandma Ellie was Irish but may as well have been Italian. She married an Italian man (my grandfather) and learned how to cook like one. Then she passed along all the recipes and secrets to her three daughters (one being my Mom) and then to all of us cousins. I love making our spaghetti sauce – and now more than ever it makes me feel close to my family.

So, as any good Southern/Italian daughter would do, I made a pot of sauce, a huge salad and brought over Italian bread to my parents house. I gave them all the leftovers — enough for at least 2 weeks worth of meals. Promise.

What could be more fitting than making the family spaghetti sauce — a recipe Grandma Ellie made a million times in her life. And now I get to share it with you!

I only took one picture, shame on me! But it should be enough to make you want to enjoy a hot bowl of pasta with meat sauce tonight!

*PS I make this a lot and freeze it in smaller batches. That way on cold winter days we always have something fresh to eat.*

Grandma Errico’s Best Sauce

Olive Oil

3 Cloves of fresh garlic

1 Chopped onion

1 lb. Ground Chuck

1 lb. Sweet or hot Italian Sausage (casing removed)

2 Cans Tomato Paste

2 Cans Tomato Puree (the large ones)

1/4 TSP Basil

Few Bay Leaves

Pinch of Oregano

2 1/2 TSP Sugar

Salt to taste

1. Cover bottom of a large sauce pan with a small amount of olive oil, add 3 cloves of garlic, minced. After about 1 minute add chopped onion. Brown until light yellow.

2. Add both meats and brown, stirring constantly to break up the meat. Drain when brown.

3. Add two cans tomato paste, tomato puree and then fill up both cans of tomato puree with water and pour into the large sauce pot. ((Sometimes I don’t quite fill the cans all the way to the top with water for a slightly thicker sauce. Your choice))

4. Add Basil, Bay leaves and Oregano. Add sugar and salt. Simmer slow for 2 hours. Taste.

* I always add in crushed red pepper flakes because I’m crazy like that. Do it for a bit of flair, or don’t. It’s great both ways. *

Peace, love and Grandma’s Sauce. Always.

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