Shortly after I had Avery, our friends Caleb and Emily brought dinner over one night. It was SO SWEET of them and made my crazy, postpartum, hormonal self feel super relieved about not having to worry about dinner.
They brought a good, old-fashioned staple meal….Spaghetti!
Andy and I both love pasta and savored every bite of the heaping plates we dished up that night. It was a simple, no-frills classic sauce and we couldn’t get enough.
In fact, we enjoyed the spaghetti sauce so much that I asked Emily if she’d be willing to share it and, lucky for us, she was!
When I received Emily’s email with the recipe, I learned that this was a family dish passed down from her grandmother, Mary Martelle.
Mary is first generation from Sicily and is known to all as “Nanny”. She’s had more than her share of tragedy losing her parents at a young age, being separated from her siblings & put into foster care, and losing one of her sweet babies at only 15 months old, but she has refused to become bitter.
She loves hard & unconditionally, appreciates a good knock-knock joke, will ALWAYS think you need to eat (no matter the time of day) and will be offended if you’re not hungry. She is the best cook, keeps all her recipes in her head, but loves to sit down and write them out for you.
Nothing makes her happier than making others happy with food.
She plays bingo every Thursday night and cannot resist any baby, whether crying or laughing. She will drink a cup of coffee with a splash of milk, no matter the time of day. She reads anything she can get her hands on, is fascinated by the Italian mafia, and would rather die than give up her drivers license and car. She knows every cleaning tip or trick in the book, and would never be caught with idle hands.
She is kind, loving, and an adoptive grandma to all who meet her.
And she’s the brains behind this tasty, simple meat sauce recipe. Thanks Grandma Martelle!
I’m sure Grandma Martelle serves her meat sauce over perfectly cooked traditional spaghetti noodles, but I put a little twist on the dish by serving it over Zoodles!
Check out my How to Make Zoodles post from yesterday if you want to know more about zoodles!
Or if you just want a good laugh at my expense :)
- 1lb ground beef, cooked through
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp parsley
- FOR THE ZOODLES
- 4-6 med/large zucchinis, zoodled (click on How to Make Zoodles link below)
- 1 tsp olive oil to saute the zoodles
- Start by browning the beef over medium heat until it is fully cooked.
- *If you have an onion-phobic member of the family like I do, start by sauteing the onions in a small amount of olive oil until they are soft, and then add the ground beef and cook it through.
- Drain fat from meat and add the remaining ingredients.
- Simmer on medium low for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.
- *Emily's edit: use 28oz of tomato sauce and 16 oz diced tomatoes if you have anyone who is slightly tomato-phobic. I even use petite diced tomatoes for my tomato-phobic hubby :)
- About 5 minutes before the sauce is done simmering, saute your zoodles in a teaspoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes or until they are tender.
- NOTE: make a double batch in the same amount of time and freeze half for later use. The sauce freezes beautifully!