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Italian Pasta Sauce Recipe

As a special part of their wedding buffet, my daughter Kris' husband, Jim Oliva, fixed a big batch of this thick flavorful pasta sauce. The recipe was brought by his grandmother from Italy 80 years ago.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 2-1/2 hours YIELD:20 servings


  • 4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 3 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
  • Hot cooked pasta


  • 1. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook beef in two batches over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. Cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In the same pan, saute onion, celery and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Return the beef and sausage to the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-3 hours or until desired thickness is reached, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta. Yield: 20 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 226 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 53 mg cholesterol, 603 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 20 g protein.

Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.