Special spaghetti sauce

We’re at that awkward season where the spinach has bolted and the lettuce is wilting in the heat, but the rest of the vegetables are little more than blossoms, if that.  While I’m waiting for this year’s garden to start producing more, I’m trying to use up last year’s canned tomatoes, so I tried out this recipe (even though I’m usually a store-bought spaghetti sauce kind of girl).

It was pretty tasty, so the extra effort was worth it, but it’s probably better to tackle this on a cooler day since it simmers on the stove for quite awhile.  There isn’t a lot of hands-on cooking time, but it will definitely heat up the kitchen!

The recipe is originally from the 75th Anniversary Recipes section of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook although I’ve made a few modifications based on what I had on hand.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb sausage
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 cup red cooking wine (or a dry red wine)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 oz canned sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
  • 1 lb dry spaghetti


  1. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven brown the hamburger and sausage together.  Drain the fat if necessary.
  2. Add the water, spices, tomatoes, wine, onion, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves and stir to combine.
  3. After it has boiled, turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for two hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Put water on for the spaghetti and then add the mushrooms and olives to the sauce.  Cover and continue to cook the sauce over low heat until the spaghetti is ready.

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