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How to make Italian sauce for pasta.

Updated on July 23, 2013
tonymead60 profile image

Italy and its food is something that Tony treasures. His recipes are filled with passion and a love of food.


Traditional Recipe

The last time my friend Fabio came around for one of our cook-nights he brought with him an old traditional recipe to make his grandma's special sauce which she used for most of her main meal, meat dishes.

His family came from Tuscany and we often get together to share recipes and have a good chat too.

Fabio said his Grandma made great batches of this sauce; because she used it so much, none went to waste.

The sauce is made in two parts and here I am making enough for four using a pound of beef mince.

So we need for the first part of this sauce;

4 olives, pitted of course and out of a jar that have been kept in olive oil.

1/2 tin of tomatoes, get a good make the supermarket own brands have too much water in them.

1/2 a white onion

4 cloves of garlic

3 medium sized mushrooms

Course salt, either kosher or large grain sea salt.

1 tbl spoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tbl spoon of white wine vinegar

1 dessert spoon of either fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce.

1/2 a cup of cheese, any you fancy will do, I used a mature cheddar.

Half a sweet red pepper.

Glug of olive oil.

the first part before it goes into the processor
the first part before it goes into the processor

Prepare Onions for the sauce

To make this part of the sauce,

Coarsely chop the onions and put them in a warmed frying pan, sprinkle with salt and keep on a medium heat until they begin to sweat. Add the oil and give it a good stir, chop and get the seeds out of your pepper and then add to the pan.

Chop the mushrooms and into the pan as well as adding the chopped garlic.

Put the tomatoes [half a tin] into the blender and give it a whizz.

Let the onions cook a little longer, add the wet ingredients.

Now tip everything into the blender and give it a real good whizzing, you can add a little water if necessary.

Yorkshire Pudding

I come from a family of cooks and chefs, and whenever I visited grandma's house, which was most days it always had a fantastic aroma of baking bread and sometimes roasting meat. Being a Yorkshire family, Yorkshire Puddings were quite often on the menu; but unlike now when they are most often served with the meal, we ate them either before or as the meal. When times were hard a good way of making sure everyone had some meat or at least meat gravy, was to cook the meat on a rack above the Yorkshire pub which was made in a large roasting tin not in the silly little pud tins that are used nowadays. As the meat cooked it dripped into the tin below and so when the batter was finally poured into the tin, it was rich in gravy.

There was a saying that went, in Yorkshire dialect of course...'them az eights most pudding eights most meight'. Roughly translates to 'Those who eat most of the pudding will get most of the meat. So the kids would have Yorkshire pudding and a few vegetables and dad would have the meat.

We were lucky as kids, we did not have a great deal of money, but we had love and affection in abundance and meal times were when we felt it most. It reafirmed the bond between us.

So I think it is desperatly sad when families don't eat together.

5 stars from 1 rating of Pasta

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour 35 min
Yields: los and lots
a rich, Italian sauce, which explodes with flavour
a rich, Italian sauce, which explodes with flavour

on with the Motley

As usual I'm chatting instead of cooking.

So now make your mince, we used a cut called 'rand' or 'round' which is a very modestly priced cut; but I think it is for the money a real good value meat. Run it through the mincer but leave it a bit course.

You can buy mince of course, but I like to know what I'm eating.

So about a 1 lb of mince will be okay for four people with this recipe.

Chop an onion either red or white what ever your preference.

Chop 4 cloves of garlic.

Six or eight olives to garnish.

Sea salt to taste

White pepper

Italian mixed herbs; Basil, oregano, thyme either fresh or dried.

Olive oil.

Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar


Mustard seeds.

You the first part of the recipe already cooked so now, add a knob of butter to a large frying pan and sprinkle in about a tablespoon of mustard seeds. Keep your eye on it as soon as they begin to pop in the pan, add your onions and add some salt and then let it all cook for ten minutes on a low to medium heat.

After they are cooked put them into a dish. If you have some mustard oil you can use a tablespoon otherwise use olive oil, get the pan hot and then add your meat; stir all the time to make sure it all gets sealed and coated in the oil. Add your onion mix and 2 tablespoons of corn flour and your garlic. Be careful to make sure all the flour is mixed in well or it will taste it will turn lumpy, stir, add your vinegar.

Cook on a low to medium heat for ten minutes and then add the sauce you made earlier. Stir and cook for twenty minutes, add the herbs. You should now have a rich, thick sauce, keep stirring, once you are happy with the thickness, add your herbs and stir them in. put a lid on it for another thirty minutes.

food for the soul

Enjoy Your Food

Serve with pasta, or on its own, add olives.

We really enjoyed the wonderful mixture and blend of flavours in this meal; we served it with pasta, fresh made ciabatta and love and of course music; you guessed, Pagliacci

Have a go, and let me know what you think.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have enjoyed this little culinary adventure I shared with my friend.

What is your favourite food style?

See results


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    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      Derdriu, I learned a great deal from my dad, one of which was appreciating opera, a little reluctant at first but I got the hang of it pretty quick. The cooking I got from my mum and grandma who were natural cooks. We had a greengrocers shop when I was a kid and so we always had herbs and fresh food to hand.

      I can't imagine a Karioke version of Pavarotti. I shall be inspired to greatness when I next read one of your super hubs.

      thank you for your comments, have a noice day.

      regards Tony

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Tony, What a finger-lickin', mouth-watering, stomach-rumbling great recipe for Italian sauce! In particular, I enjoy the step-by-step instructions and pictures. Additionally, I love all the wonderfulls smells which I imagine from such great, healthy ingredients as Italian herbs. Finally, how did you and Fabio get everything done with the magnificent voice of Il Pavarotti? It would be so tempting to lip sync to his words and ape his gestures. But then it wouldn't be Il Pavarotti if you WEREN'T inspired to imitate greatness ... on a culinary level since singers eat too.

      Thank you for sharing, voted up + all.

      Respectfully, Derdriu

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      What the world be without Tonies. My father, my son and my grandson all have Anthony intheir names too, so we have a bit of a tradition.


    • primpo profile image


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

      Tony is a good name, my father and brother are Tony...just saying from one italian family to another!! lol

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire


      thank you for the comment, I hope you try the recipe. I think everyone's grandma will have a slightly different recipe for meatballs and tomato sauce. Just take your time with it, and you will get the best out of the flavours.


    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      You've been busy reading, I'm delighted that you left so many comments, it makes all the effort worthwhile.


    • primpo profile image


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

      great recipe, I am going to try. I am always cooking and love to make my Italian meals. everyone is always booming about them. I grew up with my father and grandmother who are Italian and really cooked alot of things old style.. I make a delicious sauce and homemade meatballs and I think everyone must cook their recipes different. I'm going to try this for sauce. It is definitely different. thanks and I;ll let you know how it comes out.. voting up

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Another great recipe, this has got to be awesome and i just love pasta . will try !

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      HI Stessily,

      It was also my dad's favourite, he had a version by Gigli, who I always thought looked a little like Al Capone.

      Try the sauce and let me know, It really was very good, even though I say so my self.

      I'm having metal pictures of you in a canoe singing at the top of your voice to the amazement of the creatures of that place. I hope the fish apreciated your rendition.

      good luck Tony

      HI stephicks68

      very nice of you to drop by and make a good comment. I hope you do try this and let me know how you enjoyed it. Take a look at some of my other recent hubs for more of the same. Cheers Tony

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I'm a sucker for recipes - especially Italian ones. I will have to try your sauce, as we enjoy pasta at least 1-2 times per week. Love the hub and your style, as well. Best, Steph

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Tony, "Vesti la giubba" is one of my favorite operatic arias. I sang my favorite verses once while canoeing in the wilderness, looking for a good fishing spot:

      "Vesti la giubba,

      e la faccia infarina.

      La gente paga, e rider vuole qua."

      It was one of many performances which hooked my rock-devoted ex-boyfriend onto opera!

      As you know, I love your culinary escapades with Fabio! Thanks to you and to Fabio for sharing this exquisite sauce recipe. I have the greatest admiration for Italian cuisine, which is a passionate art form.

      All the votes, and here's to more adventures of you and Fabio in the kitchen!

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi rjsadowski

      many thanks for taking a look, I'm delighted that you like the chit chat side of my hubs too, I'm trying to develope a different atmosphere away from just another recipe. try the sauce, it was knock out.



    • rjsadowski profile image


      7 years ago

      Your recipes are good but your commentary is even better. Every good recipe has a story behind it.


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