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Nana Karen's Red Sauce and Meatballs~ Oh My!

When I am in the mood for comfort food my mind immediately goes to Spaghetti and Meatballs. It has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. My version of the dish consists of jarred sauce and ground beef or frozen meatballs because I didn't know how to make meatballs.
Enter Nana Karen. When I was pregnant with Shrek and Donkey there wasn't much I could do the further along I got. Nana Karen would come over about once a week and make dinner and help me with whatever. She was a God send. It was an enormous help. One of the things she would make was Spaghetti and Meatballs. Wow! She made homemade sauce and from scratch meatballs. Every time I eat this dish I am in heaven.
Nana Karen is an old school cook. She doesn't measure anything and makes everything from memory. A few weeks ago she found a pasta maker that her and I have been playing with and making homemade pasta. If you have never had homemade pasta it is divine! She came over today to make some pasta. While she was here she offered to make some sauce. That is a must! I offered to take notes while she made it.
Remember I said that Nana Karen doesn't measure anything? She measured the spices out in this
That is a large OXO brand serving spoon. It works. I wish I could convey the smell that was going on in this house while the sauce cooked.
Nonetheless, here's the recipe....
Made in a soup pot/stock pot/ dutch oven/ get the idea.
Nana Karen's Spaghetti Sauce
Olive Oil
1 medium onion~ chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic~ minced
1 tsp or less of sugar
dried Basil (3/4 spoon estimated to be 1/4 cup)
dried Oregano (3/4 spoon estimated to be 1/4 cup)
dried Parsley (3/4 spoon estimated to be 1/4 cup)
1 can chicken broth
2 to 3 Bay Leaves
2 small cans tomato paste
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Cover bottom of pan with Olive Oil. Saute` onion in oil until browned. Lightly salt and pepper (you can always add more later if desired). Add sugar. Add dried spices and mix in with oil, onion and sugar. Add in minced garlic. Add broth and stir. Add Bay Leaves and tomato products. Stir together and add Worcestershire Sauce. Simmer together all day.
*No exactly necessary but makes all the difference. My sauce started at 12:30 today and was turned off at 5pm this evening.*
What is spaghetti sauce without meatballs?!
Nana Karen's Meatballs
1 pd ground beef
Dried Basil (1/2 or less of  a spoon)
Dried Oregano (1/2 or less of a spoon)
Dried Parsley (1/2 or less of spoon)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
Parmesan (estimated about 1/4 cup more or less if desired)
Bread crumbs
*in lieu of breadcrumbs white bread soaked in egg can be used*
2 eggs
Mix all ingredients together well. Form into balls. Drop raw meatballs into boiling sauce. Cook for about 20 minutes.
The picture does not do it justice!

Serve all this on top of homemade spaghetti and you have a plate full of Heaven.


  1. you are to kind....I love to cook, not so much for just 2 people..It is fun for me to share cooking with you

  2. karen also makes a killer chicken and ceaser salad. i'm sure you've had it. it's kind of one of her specialties. she's pretty much amazing! and this looks pretty much amazing also. wish i had time to make this. nana want to come cook for us?!

  3. takes less then 5 mins. to throw this sauce together...and just let it cook. I will travel anywhere I get a ticket to fly

  4. Alicia~ I have the Ceasar dressing recipe also. I should blog that too :/ I'm going to work on the chicken next :)

  5. great post... i have a sauce/meatball recipe from my husband's grandma- from their family in italy! i LOVE it... don't like that it takes ALL DAY to cook, but LOVE the results! i let the meatballs cook all day with the sauce... so delish!


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