I’ve been making this sauce since I got married in 1984

Based on Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cook Book (1980) Lasagna recipe.

  • 1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 pint of small mushrooms, cut up or sliced
  • ½ a small packet of broccoli slaw, finely chopped in the food processor or Ninja
  • ½ to 1 whole large zucchini cut up or shredded
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 TBL sugar
  • 1 ½ – 2  tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf (sometimes I don’t have any)

In a large pot, (especially when I double and triple it), cook meat and onion together until the beef is browned.  You can spoon out the fat or drain the meat or leave it in – your choice.

Add mushrooms, broccoli slaw and zucchini.  If I don’t have any of those on hand, no problem, it’s  still good.  I just love the chunkiness and the nutrition of the extra veggies.  Cook another 5 minutes.

Add the tomato cans (with liquid) and the rest of the ingredients.

Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Discard bay leaf.

Correct the seasoning by adding more salt or even a bit more sugar.

Use right away, or cool before refrigerating.  If you are going to freeze extra or leftovers, make certain that the sauce is chilled thoroughly in the fridge before freezing.

Makes enough for 1 pan of lasagna or plenty of spaghetti.

Note:  The last time I made my sauce I used tomatoes from our garden was too liquidy and not tomatoe-y enough.  I’m going to have to really work at tweaking that!  For now though, I actually prefer the canned crushed tomatoes with puree.