Spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

My dear friend, Louise (Eckrich) Ostrow, has treated us to her mom’s delicious spaghetti sauce many times over the past several decades. I finally asked for the recipe to share with you.

When a recipe gets handed down for generations, you know it’s a good one. All of Mrs. Eckrich’s eight children and many of her grandchildren grew up enjoying her famous spaghetti sauce. 

This recipe is close to Mama Eckrich’s original spaghetti sauce, but I took a few liberties to make it easier to prepare in a one-butt kitchen. I usually make a full batch and freeze the leftovers. 

Serve it over your choice of pasta (regular or gluten-free), rice or zucchini noodles. I made it a few days ago and served it over polenta. We loved it!

Louise says it’s even better made the day before it’s to be served. The flavors blend nicely in the refrigerator.

Active time: 20 minutes   Total time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Specialized Kitchen Utensils

  • You’ll need a skillet to cook the spaghetti sauce. When my old non-stick skillet started sticking, I checked reviews on Cook’s Illustrated. I bought the one they rated the highest out of the 10 they tested, a Non-Stick Skillet with Lid made by OXO Good Grips. The 12-inch skillet works well for this recipe, and it also comes in 8-inch and 10-inch sizes.
  • If you follow Mama Eckrich’s orginal recipe, you’ll need an Immersion Hand Blender or a Countertop Blender for the whole canned tomatoes, but you can get by without one.

Serves: 6 to 8


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, minced (about ½ of a small onion)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, undrained
  • 1 lb ground round or sirloin
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained (or 28-oz whole tomatoes, undrained)
  • 1 to 2 tsp salt (or more to taste, the original recipe calls for 2½ tsps)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • pinch dried basil (or more to taste, up to 1 tsp) or 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • pinch dried thyme (or more to taste, up to 1 tsp)
  • 1 cup burgundy (or other dry red wine. Regina red cooking wine also works well.)
  • spaghetti, rice, zucchini noodles, or polenta
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional


Saute onion for 5 minutes in oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and garlic. Stirring often, cook until meat loses its red color.  Add mushrooms, parsley, and tomato sauce. If you are using diced tomatoes, put them in a bowl and crush them with a fork to make the tomato pieces smaller. (Mama Eckrich used whole canned tomatoes and put them in a blender at this point.)  Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, basil, and thyme to the sauce. Cover and simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add wine and stir. Cover and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally. 

Serve spaghetti sauce over noodles (gluten-free or regular), rice, zucchini noodles, or polenta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *