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Friday, December 10, 2010

Northern Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meat

About this Recipe

This recipe comes from a good friend Rosemary Andreozzi Schwenk, who's ancestors hail from Lucca.  This sauce, with a hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice is typical of the region.  Rosemary's original recipe used garlic salt (which some say is necessary for good sauce).  In this version, I use fresh garlic instead and add mushrooms which are a natural aromatase inhibitor.

Health Benefits of This Recipe

Cooked tomato products (spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, tomato paste, tomato sauce, ketchup, etc.) contain high-concentrations of the antioxidant Lycopene.  Lycopene, perhaps best known for it's cancer preventative properties in prostate cancer, also helps neutralize free radicals in heart disease, helps break down LDL cholesterol, improves the health of the skin, helps reduce cancer, and even helps reduce the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration.  For more information on the benefits of Lycopene, click here.


  • 4 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (peeled and pressed or minced)
  • 1 bunch Italian or Curly Parsley (minced)
  • 3 med. Onions
  • 2 Organic Carrots
  • 3 Ribs of celery
  • 2 26-oz cartons Chicken Stock (divided)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Salt (depending on taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 15-oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 12-oz cans Tomato Paste
  • 2 7-oz cans Button Mushrooms (stems and pieces are fine)


  1. Working in a large non-reactive roasting pan (with cover), brown the ground beef with the garlic and parsley on stove top in 1/4 C. olive oil.
  2. Working in 2 or 3 batches, puree the onions, carrots, and celery in a food processor with 1/2 of one carton of chicken stock.
  3. Add the pureed vegetable mixture to the browned meat and stir to thoroughly combine.  Cover the roaster and bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the roaster from the oven and add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and the remaining half of the first carton of chicken stock.  Stir until thoroughly incorporated and return the covered roaster to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the roaster from the oven and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and remaining carton of chicken stock.  Thoroughly stir to combine.  Add the mushrooms (juice and all) and stir again.  
  6. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and roast again in the covered roaster for 1-1/2 to 2 hours WITHOUT STIRRING.  Use care to NOT scrape any burned sauce that has splashed on the sides of the roaster, as it will make the sauce bitter. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
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  1. Best spaghetti sauce recipe I have ever made. This will definitely be the recipe I use from now on. Makes enough to freeze for an easy dinner on a work night.

  2. This is more like my mother's. My grandmother got the recipe from the Northern Italians she lived around in South San Francisco in the 1920s.