Mom’s spaghetti sauce

My mom’s spaghetti has been a staple food for my entire life. Almost everyone on the Québecois side of my family make some version of it. Not quite Italian, not quite French, this recipe is an adaptation of spaghetti bolognese – but with more vegetables.

A steaming plate of spaghetti with mom’s sauce and grated parmesan cheese is the epitome of comfort food. A glass of red wine, a salad and some baguette with butter turns it into the most satisfying meal, especially in the winter after a long day’s work or physical exertion.

It can be frozen for several months, and ready at a moment’s notice for quick weekday dinners. For variations of this recipe try including eggplants, zuchini and red peppers, or replace the ground beef for ground pork or veal.


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 diced medium onion
  • 2-3 minced cloves of garlic
  • ½ -1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 2-3 diced carrots (optional)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 1 container of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning (or thyme, rosemary, oregano and/or basil)
  • 1 tsp of sugar (to balance acidity from tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 whole cloves (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup of red wine (optional)

Brown onions in olive oil on medium heat for a few minutes, and the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Throw in the meat and brown until fully cooked, breaking it up with spoon. Add all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour.

Serve with spaghettini or pasta of choice, and grated parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

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