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Mom's Spaghetti

Meryl Downing
My Mom's Famous Spaghetti is the timeless classic that is a favorite for a reason! The perfect pot of comfort food, my kids love it as much as I always did (and still do!).
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1-2 lbs ground beef (depending on how meaty you like it)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 6 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 28oz cans tomato product (crushed, diced, or whole broken up, all are fine)
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
  • Ā½ c fresh parsley or basil chopped
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese for servingĀ 


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add onion and saute until soft and starting to lightly brown
  • Add beef and let brown, breaking it up and moving it with a wooden spoon
  • When beef is cooked through, add sugar and dry spices (any Italian dried herbs are really fine to use--basil, oregano, thyme or the Italian mix), then add garlic and let cook for 1 minute
  • Add cans of tomato, breaking them up with a potato masher works well for whole tomatoes or chop them with a knife or food processor
  • Let sauce simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add parsley or basil in the last half hour before serving
  • When ready to serve, cook pasta following package instructions. Top with sauce and grated Parmesan cheese
Keyword homemade spaghetti, Spaghetti