Monday, April 29, 2013

Mill Mountain Spaghetti Sauce

"We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing."
~ Sister Sledge

My sisters are here for our annual spring visit.
We've been meeting in April and October for many years.  April finds us here one year and in Florida the next.  We meet back in Virginia each October.

For dinner the first night, I knew they would enjoy the spaghetti sauce we had growing up.  It isn't Italian.  Our mother never claimed it to be.  How she came up with the name is a mystery.
We grew up in the Roanoke Valley (southern end of the Shenandoah Valley)
surrounded by mountains.

The most familiar is Mill Mountain, home to the big illuminated star that gives Roanoke the distinction of calling itself the Star City of the South.
It also provides a splendid panorama of the city in the valley below.
Mill Mountain is home to a secluded area called Lovers' Lane 
but I wouldn't know anything about that!!

Here's the recipe.
I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as we do.

Mother's Mill Mountain Spaghetti Sauce

2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup diced yellow onions
1 cup chopped green peppers (for us a mix of yellow, orange and red peppers--no green)
1 tsp garlic powder (I used two fat cloves of garlic, minced)
1 pound hamburger meat (I used ground sirloin)
1 8-oz can sliced mushrooms (I used 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms quartered)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 24 ounce can of marinara sauce (I used some I had frozen from last fall)
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a large sauce pan, heat the oil.  Add the onions and peppers and saute over medium heat for five minutes.  Add the ground meat, breaking up well and saute for about five minutes, stirring often.  Add the garlic and saute for one minute (or the powder and just keep going).  Add the mushrooms and saute an additional three minutes.

2.  Stir in the oregano, bay leaf, sugar, tomato paste and marinara sauce.  Simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring often.  Taste and adjust the seasons.

3.  Serve over pasta and pass the Parmesan



  1. Looks and sounds delicious!! I am one of those people who wants LOTS of sauce on my pasta. I know I would love this.

    How wonderful that you and your sisters get together so regularly. Enjoy the rest of their visit!!

  2. Since I know that area, this is fun to read. Its so good you sisters meet so regularly. I'm going to see one of my sisters this week. We need to keep an effort to do that now that mom is gone, Have a wonderful time together. The sauce looks delicious!

  3. That looks delicious. It is so nice to get together with family. Enjoy your visit.

  4. This looks so good! We have a Lover's Lane here in Waynesboro, maybe a lot of cities do. There is a zoo up on that mountain, and maybe one day I will swallow my fear of high winding roads and go. I so hope we can meet again this fall, maybe you can come to our house, but I understand that your short time with your sister is important.

  5. Oh how nice to meet with your sisters TWICE a year. That is AWESOME... Hope you take a photo of the 4 of you and put it on your blog....

    Your Spaghetti sounds incredible. I'm sure all of you enjoyed it!!!!!


  6. Your spaghetti sauce sounds yummy. I wish I had my mother's recipe. It had a distinct flavor. I know she added bacon to it, but have never found a recipe I thought matched what I remember. How special to be able to spend time with your siblings.

  7. looks great, i would have to remove the bay leaf and oregano.. can't eat either. you are truly blessed to have sisters and to be able to see them twice a year. i have one brother, and have not seen him since 2007...

  8. How fun that you and your sisters get together and eat one your family's favorite food. It looks very similar to my mothers.

  9. I love how everybody has their own best version of sauce. My mother-in-law used to put grated orange peels in hers... it was good.

  10. Sounds wonderful! Have fun with your sisters!!!!
    xo Kris

  11. oh how wonderful! what an amazing sauce! Hope you have a great time and make great memories with your sisters~

  12. Oh, this sounds amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. This sounds Mill-Mountain-Perfect, Bonnie!! Wish I were there with y'all enjoying spring in Roanoke! ;) Did you make the garden tour? Amanda said it was wonderful. Enjoy! blessings ~ tanna

  14. This does sound delicious, Bonnie. I love the name your gave it :)

    Enjoy your time with your sisters. You are so lucky to get together twice a year!

  15. I actually don't mind minced mushrooms in my pasta sauce, it adds a nice earthy/meaty taste to the sauce.

    You can keep the onions though! Sorry the weather isn't nicer!

  16. I bet the meal was great and I
    bet your sisters enjoyed it too.

    M :)

  17. Good Morning, This sounds delicious. My hubby loves mushrooms. How wonderful to share time with your sisters.
    Thanks for sharing with me about your visit to the Swan House.
    Enjoy your day,

  18. My mother made a similar sauce but without the father called it "rich, red meat sauce". :)

  19. your spaguettis look amazing and delicious!!

  20. It's so special to get together with your sisters! The sauce looks yummy too- family recipes are always the best. :)

  21. That looks absolutely delicious I kind of want to make it for dinner! Attempting to cut down on my carbs however :(


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