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Sam's Original Sauce

Rated as 4 out of 5 Stars

"An old recipe for sauce that was made by my grandfather's mother. Optional ingredients include pork chops, sausage, or ground pork."
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6 h 50 m servings 190
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Add the garlic during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
  2. Transfer the onions and garlic to a bowl and set aside. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the beef cubes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Drop in the tomato paste and reduce the heat to medium; allow the tomato paste to cook about 2 minutes, or until it begins to brown, before stirring.
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and return the onions and garlic to the pan. Mix in the parsley, basil, fennel, and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and the meat is tender, 6 to 7 hours.


  • Editor's Note:
  • This recipe can easily be doubled. Brown the meat in batches and proceed with the recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 190 calories; 9.7 14.3 13.3 33 283 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 3
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An easy, if not awe inspiring spaghetti sauce recipe. My mother makes a similar dish she calls tomato gravy. My husband didn't care for the stew meat and stated he prefers hamburger or sausage...

I grew up with this same type of sauce,made by my grandmother its great,I think pork works best in it gives the sauce a great flavor.

This is really good. It's a common way to make ragù in Southern Italy. I added some peas and used it in some arancini as well as on pasta. Thank you for the recipe.