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Sicilian Sauce

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

(by Cherie Kephart)


I now know why I loved this sauce so much as a kid: It’s loaded with sugar. I now do an updated sugar-free version. (To my Sicilian family: Please forgive me.) Originally this sauce was made on a stove in two large kettles; my great-grandmother would stand for hours watching and stirring to ensure that it wouldn’t burn. My mom and I suggest you cut the recipe in half for one large pot or Crockpot.

2 - 3 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 - 3 large onions, chopped

1 - 2 lb. ground beef (depending on how meaty you want it)

9 cans (12 oz. each) tomato paste

1/2 - 3/4 c. sugar

6 T. Italian seasoning

2 - 3 T. garlic salt or garlic powder

1 T. ground black pepper

2 T. dried oregano

4 - 6 bay leaves

Heat oil in a large skillet, and brown the onions and beef. Drain excess fat.

Add tomato paste, rinsing each can with hot water and adding to the sauce.

Add 1 additional can of water, blending well.

Add sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic salt or powder, pepper, and oregano.

Add another can of water and bay leaves.

Bring mixture to a boil.

Simmer approximately 2 - 3 hours (or 6 - 8 hours in a Crockpot).

Taste for seasoning, and remove bay leaves before serving over pasta


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