Mama’s Italian Spaghetti

Mama's Italian Spaghetti

War Brides and a great recipe!

This Italian Spaghetti is one of the first recipes my Mama learned to cook as a new bride. Mama and Daddy began their new life together during the Korean War in Blackstone, Virginia where Daddy was an army medic. While there, Mama made a new friend, also an army bride, who was the daughter of Italian immigrants. She introduced Mama to Italian Spaghetti with meat sauce. Being a country girl from South Mississippi, Mama new nothing about Italian food but was a fan with her first bite. This is the spaghetti sauce we grew up on and my kids in turn. I’ve tried many other sauces, but none compare to this simple recipe. As an added benefit, it freezes beautifully, so you’ll always find it stocked in my freezer. But beware, this recipe will spoil your family, and they may never be satisfied with the jar variety again.

Browning your ground beef in the oven–see Karen’s tip

Removing the fat from your spaghetti–see Karen’s tip.

Just like our recipes, we make EVERYTHING from scratch!



  • 5lb Ground Chuck
  • 4 large onions, chopped (Click here to learn my method for chopping an onion)
  • 3 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/4 c. fresh minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. dried parsley
  • 1/4 c. dried oregano
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup “Better Than Bouillon” Beef Base
  • 1 1/2 qts. water
  • 2 t. pepper


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  • Brown ground chuck.  (Don’t scrimp on the browning.  Italian meat sauce is best if meat is very well browned.)  This can be done in a skillet or in the oven. Click here to see my oven method for browning ground meats.
  • While meat is browning, combine rest of ingredients and bring to a simmer.
  • Add browned meat along with fat to pot and simmer several hours.
  • As sauce cooks, the fat will rise to the surface. When it is ready, skim fat from surface. Click here to see how you can get virtually all the fat off the sauce.
  • Tweak with salt, more beef bouillon, and/or black pepper.
  • Serve over cooked angel hair or vermicelli pasta.  If you’re watching your carbs, try serving over cooked spaghetti squash.  Click here to learn how to cook the squash.  The whole oven roasted squash is easiest and my preferred method.


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