Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Week 22: Grandma Jam’s Pasta Sauce


I have wanted to share my Italian Grandmother’s pasta sauce recipe for some time now, and I have been craving it lately so I think it’s time. Next week I plan to attempt some homemade pasta, which I have not really done before, so stay tuned, it should be interesting! Get ready for a little Italian cooking!

Well, a little history on my Grandma Jam. She was an Italian dynamo standing 4-foot, 11-inches tall! She always wore high heels, just to gain a few inches, wore beautiful jewelry to match every outfit, and had wonderful hip clothes. So cute! And she really loved to feed her family. Whenever we would visit her house, she always had steamed artichokes, roasted peppers, beets, and of course a big old pot of pasta sauce. There were always candy or treats hidden in the dinning room cabinet that we would always find and eat!. But, her pasta sauce is by far my favorite sauce I have ever had. I tend to like sweet flavors and Grandma’s sauce has a nice sweetness that makes pasta (rigatoni are my favorite) taste soooo good. This is certainly not a low-cal sauce with all the pepperoni, but boy is it tasty. Enjoy!


Grandma Jam’s Pasta Sauce



  • 1 large can tomato sauce (use a good Italian brand of sauce, makes a difference!)

  • 2 small cans tomato paste

  • 1 small/medium onion (whole or cut in half)

  • 1 garlic clove chopped

  • 1 pepperoni stick (cut in 2" pieces) or just a bunch of sliced pieces

  • 1 non-smoked ham hock (browned or meat with bone)

  • 1 tomato sauce can filled with tomato juice or water

  • 2 tomato paste cans filled with water

  • 2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 spring parsley fresh (dry = ½ tablespoon)

  • 1 spring oregano fresh (dry = 1 teaspoon)

  • 1 spring basil fresh (dry = 1 teaspoon)

Special ingredients: a big stock pot


Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a large stock pot or crock pot. I use the crock pot and just let it cook! For the stove top version, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 to 2 hours until thickened. For the crock pot, mix and put on low for 8 to 10 hours. Add additional spices to taste.

Step 2: Throw away onion, fresh herbs, bay leaf and I also throw away the sliced pepperoni pieces (they are pretty cooked out and tasteless)

Step 3: Serve with your favorite pasta.

Uh...that’s it! Yes, Grandma can cook! She used to add meatballs or browned ground beef it you want a meat sauce. This freezes really well and the sauce actually tastes better after it has been frozen since the flavors become enhanced. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Thanks Gram for being a little hillbilly!

Recipe credit to: Grandma Jam

2 comments:

Jnette said...

My mother-in-law's mom was from Italy and has a similar recipe that she has handed down to me. It's such a wonderful thing to have, and quite delicious. You can't buy sauce as good as a recipe like this!

Jen said...

Thanks for sharing! I just love recipies with history.