As many of you know I’m half-Filipina. My dad is from the Philippines and my mom was born here in the states. What you may not know about me is that my parents divorced when I was a baby and for the most part I was raised in an Italian home by my mom and stepfather in Upstate NY. Where I grew up the majority of the population was Italian with names like Ambrosino (that’s us), Anadio, Christiano, Pasquarella, Yacobucci and other similar names. Everyone was named Anthony, Tommy, Jimmy, or another name frequented on movies like Goodfellas. Every other block featured the best pizza parlor or Italian bakery and you NEVER thought about buying your Italian bread from the grocery store because you could buy it hot and fresh from the corner bakery.
One of the things I loved about growing up in an Italian family was the food. If there is one thing the Ambrosino’s were good at it was making incredible food! My grandfather taught me how to make the best stuffed artichokes in the world and my stepfather cooked the most incredible eggplant parmesan you have ever tasted, but the dish we specialized in was the Meat Lovers Italian Spaghetti Sauce. If you are a meat lover this is the sauce for you.
- 1 small-medium onion
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 6-7 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. thyme
- Bay leaf or two
- Couple of dashes of crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 28 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 pound smoked sausage
- 8 oz fresh mushroom
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
- In a pan brown ground beef and Italian sausage until cooked completely. Drain off fat and add to slow cooker. Slice smoked sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and brown. Add to slow cooker. In another pan saute chopped onion and garlic in 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.