Saturday, May 10, 2014

Meat Sauce, Women's Day May 1951

This week's recipe comes from an article in the May 1951 issue of Women's Day entitled, 16 Spaghetti Sauces.  They all looked pretty good expect for the "Chick-Pea Sauce" (As much as I like chick peas I just can't fathom them in anything else but salad.  I'm such a modern gal!)  The "Bread-Crumb Meat Sauce" just seemed weird.  Seemed like it would be dry.   Anyway, I chose the Meat Sauce, per hubby's request.  (The Tuna-Fish Sauce kind of freaked him out. I thought it would be a nice meatless meal.  Maybe that's what scared him!  NO MEAT??  Well this had "flavor".  But I'm getting ahead of myself...)

Here's what you need:

I made a few changes to the recipe.  I omitted the green pepper as hubby absolutely hates it.  I'm not a big fan either so it's ok with me to leave it out.  Also I didn't have any crushed red pepper so I substituted cayenne pepper.  Just a dash.  At first it was a bit much but mellowed out with cooking and added depth to the flavor.  

Here's the original recipe:

Here are my ingredients:
1 Onion, really large, chopped
3 Cloves garlic (Each of the Dorot frozen garlic is 1 small clove.  Adjust accordingly if using fresh garlic.)
Olive oil
1LB Ground beef
5C Canned tomates
1.5C Tomato sauce
1/4C Fresh parsley, chopped
1t Basil 
1/2t Thyme
1T Salt (seems like a lot but it wasn't)
1/4t Pepper
Dash of Cayenne pepper

First let me talk about that onion.  The original recipe called for 2 onions.  As you know from my previous diversions into onion sizing I believe that onions were much smaller back in the '50's.  When I looked around my kitchen for an onion I saw that I only had a huge monster onion that appeared to be  genetically modified to grow bigger and faster.  But happily it wasn't. It was just a big organic onion.   Here's what it looked like chopped up:

I estimate it's 4-5 cups.
Cook the ground beef in a large pot over a medium high heat.  Drain the beef and set aside.  Add a little olive oil to the pot and heat to medium again.  Add chopped onions and garlic.  Sauté until fragrant.  Here's some video!

Then add the meat back into the pot.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well and simmer covered for 90 minutes.  

This makes a lot of sauce.  The original recipe said to use with a pound of spaghetti but I had a lot left over even with a healthy spaghetti to sauce ratio.  Here's what our plates looked like:

I would estimate this recipe made about 10 servings for us.  I put about half in the freezer to make a quick dinner later.  Hubby asked for me to save some in the fridge for his lunch the next day too.   I haven't tried the frozen sauce yet but if it's like most tomato based meat sauce it probably freezes well and will taste just as yummy as when it's made fresh.  

Guess what?  Everyone loved it!  Hubby even said it had enough flavor.  Seriously.  And this was after a week of work travel eating in restaurants!  (I really think it kills his tastebuds.)  Must be the long cooking time because I was afraid the amount of herbs wasn't enough.  I usually use a lot more when I wing it tossing canned tomatoes with bottled Italian seasoning.  The flavors really melded well together and as I mentioned the cayenne added some depth to the flavor without making the sauce spicy.  




  1. I do love spaghetti (I use corn) and this meat sauce looks marvelous! As for chickpeas, I love them! Especially when made into hummus. I think I might like a sauce. : )

    P.S. SPRING IS HERE!!! ; )

    1. See, in hummus I love chick peas. And in salad. But in a spaghetti sauce? I just can't fathom it.

      I'm happy to snap a picture of the chick pea sauce and post it for you, Averyl. Just say the word! :)

  2. Yum!!!! So very yum, for that matter! :) I adore a great, chunky, hearty, stick to your ribs (and pasta!) meat sauce like this. The one that I make is a slight variation on the version that my maternal grandfather made, passed down to my mom, and I now whip up - with eager nods of approval from my Italian born and raised husband - for my family. In fact, I love meat sauce so much, I've been known on more than one occasion to just eat a whole bowl of it sans pasta, rice or any other starch (aka, like a thick tomato based meat stew). My tummy is rumbling at the thought! :)

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Jessica, that's a good idea to eat the sauce without the pasta. I try to avoid starch for health reasons but when we have spaghetti it's my splurge night. I should try the leftovers plain.

  3. The original recipe is similar to what I make except that instead of canned tomatoes I use the canned sauce. I also use a bit more Italian herbs but no bell pepper. I got it from my mother and only revised it a little from hers.

    It's really a great sauce!

    1. Sounds good!! It's funny that now practically everyone makes spaghetti but my dad told me once that back in the '50s it was a bit exotic because it was from Italy.

  4. I already make a version of this dish. Yum!

    1. Welcome to my blog and thanks for chiming in! :)