A couple of weeks ago I received a gift of homegrown tomatoes. Between a Tomato Pie and Tomato Sandwiches, my yield was used toward making a homemade meat sauce for spaghetti. Mama was the only one in our home who really loved it. Daddy, Paula or myself usually turned our noses up at it. The thing I remember not liking about it was that she mixed the noodles and the sauce together before it was served. When I had the opportunity away from home, I would eat it served with the sauce spooned over the top. I guess I wanted to choose to mix it myself. 


Working on this cookbook and thinking of memories and food I was served growing up, spaghetti came to mind. I did not have Mama's recipe for it, but I remember her using tomato paste, canned tomatoes, onions, green peppers and hamburger meat. In conversation with Lalah Williams a few weeks prior, she told me of a book written by Sadie Le Sueur called Recipes, Party Plans and Garnishes, published in 1958. Sadie was a pillar of Nashville's Centennial Club and the book centers around menus and recipes for different types of occasions. 

I have made this on two occasions; the first was two weeks ago with fresh tomatoes. I used the same amount in weight of fresh tomatoes as recommended for canned. Over the last two days I completed this sauce using canned tomatoes. This time I added a half-pound of breakfast sausge to the beef as I was cooking it. I also put the sauce in my slow cooker and cooked it on low for 8 hours.

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce


1 pound package spaghetti

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large can tomatoes, 2 1/2 size (27 to 29 ounces); use any kind, I used crushed

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

2 large onions, chopped fine

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon horseradish

6 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon sugar

Sauté onions, celery and peppers in 1 tablespoon of oilve oil until tender; 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and bring to a slow simmer. In a separate skillet, brown ground beef in 1 tablespoon olive oil; do not drain. Add beef mixture to tomato sauce; add Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, minced garlic, bay leaf and sugar. Simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 hours or cook on low in slow cooker for 8 hours. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Add drained noodles to meat sauce; mix well and allow to sit on stove top, covered for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.