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My Dad’s Famous Spaghetti Recipe!

Happy Holidays Laimewads!

I LOVE this time of year and one of the things I get most excited about is not the Christmas goose, but my Dad’s spaghetti! It was the Laime family tradition that this pot of love be bubbling away all day on Christmas eve, filling our house with the smell of awesome. Then, when we returned home from Christmas eve mass, we’d each get to open one gift from under the tree and enjoy platefuls of my Dad’s delicious spaghetti.

I’m so grateful for this tradition – my sister now makes the spaghetti every Christmas eve and it really makes me feel like my parent’s wonderful spirit is with us through the holidays.

So… here’s the recipe! * Note: my dad usually just made it, no recipe required, but my genius sister has managed to get this down in recipe form and I think she nailed it. It really is unlike any other spaghetti sauce I’ve ever tasted…

Ron Laime’s Spaghetti Sauce:

1 white onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 clove garlic

2 large 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

2 bottles of red wine – 1 for cooking, 1 for chef lubrication

herbs – italian seasoning, garlic salt, salt, pepper, basil, oregano

1 1/2 lb beef (optional)

table sugar – to taste, probably 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

olive oil

In a big ass pot, saute pepper and onion in garlic and oil for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. add all the tomatoes and wine and herbs and some of the sugar. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a perky simmer for a 1/2 hour. At this point, you can add the beef – in our house, because I’m veg., my dad would put some of the sauce into a smaller side pot to continue cooking and add the beef to the big ass pot so we had two going. Simmer this mix for a few more hours hopefully – the longer the anticipation the better. Season to taste using the sugar, herbs, and salt/pepper.

** Amendment/update for meat eaters – please see Anna-Marie’s (my sister’s) comment below!

Serve over thick spaghetti, with hot crusty bread and big slabs of butter. Eat yourself into a food coma, but not before you put out milk and cookies for Santa!

Please post your food traditions/recipes in the comments!




Brian says:

Our holiday food is pretty traditional, but my mom would make a snack tray for people to graze on while the actual meal was cooking, which included her magical cream cheese. The magic was actually just crushed pineapple and toasted walnuts, but it is the best thing ever stuffed in celery or on a bagel. And it was the one time of the year my mom made cheesecake (see the cream cheese theme here?)

Anna-Marie says:

Love this! I love that photo of Mom and Dad. Can I make a little tweak to the recipe? If there are no vegetarians in the house, this is a little bit better if you throw the meat into the pot with the onions and peppers after they have sauteed, and cook until the meat is browned. Then proceed as described. You get a little more of the meaty goodness that way (sorry Elizabeth) – also, if you are doing the meat separately, it would be a lot better to brown it in a separate pan first and add it to the sauce, otherwise you kind of just have boiled meat (not as yummy). Thanks for posting Elaby!

Kristin H says:

Thank you… Merry Christmas!
We always do a nice dinner (dining room, the fancy china and silver)
I look forward to it all year. We might even eat some meat.. Odds are I will be slightly hing donged on Christmas morn. (Hing dong= hangover) my step mom is an amazing cook! Can’t wait to try the spaghetti recipe. Kiss that husband!
I enjoy you both immensely! Oh and can’t wait to hear the big announcement after Andy’s meeting!

LaurenH says:

Our only food tradition is making sure there’s also ham on the table for my grandma because some chickens scared her when she was little so now she won’t eat any poultry. You’d think she’d eat nothing but for long term vengeance.

Bryguy says:

Tried it in a CrockPot only because I didn’t have time to stick with the big ass pot all day, but next time I think I will try it that way. I think it would have cooked down a bit more.

Any suggestions on the best red wine to use (in the sauce)? I used a red blend and it was pretty good.

Thanks Elizabeth for sharing your family recipe and Happy New Year to you and Andy!

Amanda says:

Hi – I used Chianti which worked nicely. I imagine a pinot noir or cabernet would work well too.

Elizabeth says:

@Bryguy~ I’m so thrilled that you actually made this! That’s so touching. I think any good red that you’d drink would be fine… And I’m curious if you made this with or w/out meat – if it’s totally w/out meat, I would recommend adding some extra pepper/onion and maybe even carrot to thicken it up! Thanks so much for giving it a shot!

joe says:

i’ll have to try this as a variation on my quite lazy version of buying sauce. not quite an x-mas tradition, but since my birthday is the 18th of december (hurray for getting b-day gifts and x-mas gifts combo’d into one….not) I always asked for my mom to make me spaghetti as my ‘meal’ of choice on that date. still my favorite meal to make at home for any day of the year.

Jessy says:

We have a tradition of spinach lasagna on Christmas Eve. My mother makes spinach noodles from scratch and we make a sauce with eggplant and mushrooms.

Amanda says:

I just made this tonight and it was really yummy! Definitely a different flavor than typical sauce. The wine (I used Chianti) gives it a great flavor without tasting like wine. I didn’t use all the sugar – just did it to taste – and added some red pepper flakes for heat. I made it with meat this time, but will definitely try it without as well.

As instructed, I ate myself into a food coma and have consumed an abundance of wine.

Leftovers are being packed in the fridge!

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!!

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