AKA “Omi’s Most Famous & Often Requested”

My German grandmother made the most amazing Italian spaghetti sauce. So this recipe is now my father’s – and mine! We have however, altered the ingredients a little bit (such as adding red wine) to make the sauce a bit meatier and more fragrant. Omi’s frugal nature meant that she usually only made enough for one meal with one-day’s leftovers. However, this sauce freezes incredibly well (simply in the freezer) for several months. So I usually make a huge pot full of sauce and freeze enough for a half dozen additional dinners. This recipe makes 6 generous servings.


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (get Vital Choice quality meat)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 14.5oz cans of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 4 oz of tomato paste
  • 1 pound of crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil (don’t use fresh basil)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Flake Salt to taste


  1. Warm the olive oil and then brown the beef in a large pot over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add chopped onion and stir at least once a minute for about another 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  4. When browned, add the tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes.
  5. Bring briefly to a gentle boil and add mushrooms.
  6. Turn down heat and simmer with the bay leaves, oregano and basil for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Add tomato paste and sugar and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

*Serve with spaghetti or angelhair pasta.
**Wine Recommendation: This is a big, bold sauce so a heavy California Cabernet Sauvignon goes great with this, especially a Cabernet that has a bit of oak in it. Think Mondavi or — if the budget allows — Silver Oak or Chateau Montelena.

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