Mike's Italian Grandma's Pasta Sauce

READY IN: 15mins
Recipe by MinatheBrat

My husband learned this from a sweet Italian Grandma from Palermo while they were on a train together in Germany. She had married a German soldier during the war, and now that he had passed she was bringing him to his family for the first time since he had left as a young soldier. Note: Cooking time only includes prep time as simmering varies according to method.

Top Review by Muffin Goddess

Made for PAC Spring 2007 -- Loved this sauce! I tend to gravitate towards veggie-based sauces moreso than meat-based ones, but this is a meat sauce that I'd definitely make again. I really liked that it wasn't terribly involved to make (nice for mornings when I'm trying to make dinner before I leave for work). I used 5 8oz cans of tomato sauce along with one large can of whole basil-flavored plum tomatoes. For the meats, I defrosted some cheese-and-garlic flavored Italian sausage and some 90% ground sirloin. I used Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon for the wine. The added bonus of making this was that it consisted entirely of ingredients that I already had on hand (no shopping involved). I didn't trust my family to remember to turn off the crockpot in 6 hours, so I just simmered it on the stovetop for 1.5 hours while I was doing all my before-work stuff (don't be amazed, I work second shift lol). All in all, a great sauce with my family's beloved cheese tortellini (not a beloved family recipe, my family just loves packaged cheese tortellini). Thanks for posting!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Brown your meat and drain off the excess fat. Add all the ingredients together. My hubby likes to put this all in the crock pot and slowcook it for about 6 hours. You could also simmer it stovetop for maybe an hour or so if you're in a hurry. Delicious. We serve this with tortellini or spaghetti and our pickiest kids can't get enough. They also request bread to sop up the extra.
  2. Note: Of course you can used canned tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato puree or even fresh. Just cook longer and add a pinch of sugar.

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