My first memory of this recipe is seeing it on a handwritten note card in my Mom’s recipe book. I was in first grade and learning how to help in the kitchen. I noticed that unlike other recipes in the book, this one had no exact measurements listed, only notes and dots of dried up sauce splattered over it; it was used. I asked my Mom about it who told me she took the recipe from her mother and her mother before, and so on. If I was lucky she promised to pass it on to me someday. The catch? The token phrase "a little of this, a little of that" to make the sauce taste like a memory applies!
1Brown meat of choice.
Once browned, drain some of the fat off and return pot to stovetop.
Over medium heat, add 2 small cans stewed (or crushed if you don’t have stewed) tomatoes, 2 small cans whole tomatoes and 2 small cans tomato sauce to the beef; extra sauce can be used to thin the sauce and tomato paste can be used to thicken the sauce if necessary.
To the tomato/beef mixture, add granulated sugar, oregano, italian seasoning and one whole clove of garlic (smashed with the back of your knife). Turn heat down to low and simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 hours (or all day if you have the time). While slow cooking for several hours is key to providing a very robust taste, a very tasty dish can be whipped up in under an hour if short on time! **As long as the beef and sausage are cooked through, you are good to go.
Three hours before the 6 hours is up, add sliced button mushrooms to the sauce.
One hour before the 6 hours is up, slice 6 links of uncooked sweet Italian sausage into 1 1/2 inch pieces and add to the sauce to cook.
After 5-6 hours of cooking, remove the garlic clove; add a dash more oregano if needed and salt and pepper to taste. Adding the salt and pepper at the end ensures that the sauce isn’t too salty and that the salt flavor is not dissipated through hours of cooking.
Simmer for 10 more minutes.
Serve sauce atop the pasta of your choice, use it in lasagna or can :-) Enjoy!