Back in the 60’s, I was a full time housewife in suburban Chicago.   I drove my husband to the commuter train each morning with the kids in the back seat, then returned home to take care of my children and keep house.  There weren’t many working wives in those days.  Needless to say, I did much more cooking from scratch.   But even after I became a working mom, I still fixed batches of spaghetti sauce on the weekends and stored what was left in the freezer.  It only needed an hour of simmering, but I liked the way it filled the house with a delicious fragrance, so I kept it on the stove for 2 hours or more.  Here is my  recipe for Mama Lucia’s Spaghetti Sauce.

You could make it with ground chuck, but I prefer using very lean ground beef.  It’s a  bit more expensive, but the low fat health benefits are worth the cost.  What gives the sauce its special flavors are the red wine and a pinch of cinnamon.


One batch of this spaghetti sauce will make three or four meals
Red wine and a pinch of cinnamon makes this Spaghetti Sauce special


1  lb.  94% lean ground beef

¼ cup olive oil

1 half  onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tablespoon oregano

2 Tablespoons  basil

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 28 oz can stewed tomatoes

2 6 oz cans tomato paste

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 bay leaf

½ cup red wine

Crumble the ground beef into small pieces while you saute in olive oil with garlic and onion.  Add rest of ingredients, and simmer 1-4 hours.

If you simmer the sauce longer than 2 hours, it may begin to thicken too much.  If that happens, stir in a little water to thin it down.

Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving over cooked pasta. .

There will be a lot of leftover sauce..  Spoon it  into quart zip lock freezer bags and ,lay them flat so that you can stack them neatly after frozen.   Now, you have 3 or 4 quick meals to pull out of the freezer on busy days.

Once you taste this heart healthy recipe,  you will never buy bottled spaghetti sauce again.

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