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Grandma Muscarella's Sauce Recipe

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This recipe for Grandma Muscarella's Sauce, by , is from The Polito/Muscarella Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Paul Polito
Added: Thursday, December 4, 2008


2 Lg cans crushed tomatoes
1 med can tomato sauce
2 fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 lg peeled onion
1/4 tbsp sugar
2lbs ground beef
salt and pepper
garlic salt
1 egg
handful of bread crumbs
handful of grated cheese- Lucatelli
1/2 a handful of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
4-5 links mild Italian sausage
4-5 pork ribs


In a large pot on med heat add the following till till it boils slowly. Once it boils lower to a simmer. You want it hot when you add the meat and stuff
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes (add 1/4 can of water to each can and clean it out then throw it in the sauce)
1 med can of tomato sauce - same thing with the water here too ( I wait until the meat is in and the sauce is boiling before I add this ...don't worry if you just want to throw it in from the start)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tablespoon of sugar
2 fresh basel leaves
You can always throw some red wine in it too... why not can't hurt.

Next in a large skillet
Olive Oil on med heat
1 lg Onion ( peeled and whole just cut the ends off )
2 cl garlic
... don't over cook either one and make sure you just roll them both around till they are lightly browned.. The garlic tends to be done first, don't worry just throw them in the pot and finish the onion. I don't roll the onion but let is sit on the cut side till brown then flip it to the other side then right in the pot

In the same oil add a little veg oil 2-3 tbsps and brown the meatballs rolling them around with a fork...... you are not cooking them through just a light browning to seal them. If you make them too dark brown it will make the sauce stronger
then add them to the sauce

In the same oil add the pork and or sausage again brown them up and add them to the sauce.
( you may not be able to to fit them in together so just brown one batch and do the next again till all are done)

In the same skillet add a few large spoons of the sauce into the skillet with half the amount of water. You are making your own tomato paste. let it boil down scraping all the yummy stuff off the skillet and throw all that into the sauce once it has thickened.

simmer the sauce with the lid on for 2 1/2 hours stirring from time to time so nothing sticks to the bottom. Again the trick is not to let it boil hard... nice and easy slow roll or it will get to dark red and be too strong... a nice slow roll is all it needs - like around a 2-3 setting on the stove

After the 2 in a half hours take the top off and raise the temp a little so the slow boil continues and let it thicken up a bit. There isn't an exact science to how thick you make it but around a half hour should do it....plus or minus 10 minutes...usually on the plus side.

You will think the sauce is too watery when you are making it and while it is cooking but trust me it isn't .... you will thicken it up after is cooks and the oil garlic onion and meat flavors absorb into the sauce.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
A lot
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
3 hours
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This is straight from Grandma Muscarella Kitchen. I made many pots with the old great wise one which my mother should have done because mine is still the best. In the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield in " Back to School" "Modesty is for Losers"




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