Skinner Giveaway Plus My New Favorite Spagetti Sauce Recipe

It’s not every day you see a spaghetti sauce recipe on Cookie Madness, but this post is dedicated to the 100 year anniversary of Skinner, a brand I grew up with here in Texas.

Skinner Pasta

I also wanted to let you know about the Skinner Pasta 100 Years of Mealtimes Memories Essay Contest that just opened today.  The prize is $10,000, and all you have to do is write a quick essay (less than 250 words) sharing your favorite mealtime memory.   It looks as though these essays are judged on skill and creativity, so sit back, relax and take a trip down memory lane.  Good luck! And if you don’t win the contest, at least you’ll have some new recipes from their very nicely done recipe collection.

In addition to the contests on Skinner’s site, I am hosting a giveaway that includes the following:

• Two boxes of Skinner® Pasta
• One colander (and it’s super nice!)
• One set of Texas-themed serving utensils
• Two Skinner® Pasta recipe cards

Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift, this is a nice set and all you have to do is post a comment here telling me your favorite mealtime memory involving pasta.  For the giveaway, no skill is required.  For instance, I have a short-term memory so mine is “Five minutes ago I was down in the kitchen boiling manicotti and then I came upstairs to write this blog post.”.  See?  No skill.  I’ll just pick a comment at random.  The giveaway portion of the contest will end this Monday and I will notify the winner on Tuesday.

Now for those recipes I promised you.  Below you will find a recipe from Texas cookbook author Robb Walsh, or to be more exact, his Nana. I noticed she also uses V-8 in her sauce.  And here I thought it was my secret ingredient!  My sauce recipe is below Robb’s. It’s what I used on the manicotti in the photo.

Nana’s Spaghetti and Meatballs
Recipe Created by Robb Walsh

Spaghetti and Meatballs Ingredients:
1 (12-ounce) package Skinner Spaghetti
6 cups Nana’s Red Sauce
18 Nana’s Meatballs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)

Boil the spaghetti in briskly boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse well. Toss the spaghetti with the red sauce in a large mixing bowl combining thoroughly. Put the spaghetti in a serving bowl and top with the meatballs. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Put the rest of the grated Parmesan cheese and the crushed pepper on the table and let diners add their own. Servings: 6

Note: If you make the lasagna and the spaghetti and meatball recipes using the red sauce recipe, you should have around four cups of red sauce left for another meal.

Meatball Ingredients:
1 ½ pound ground beef
½ cup bread crumbs
1 ½ cups finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup loosely packed chopped parsley
2 tablespoons dried ground oregano
2 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons parmesan
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Nana’s Red Sauce

Combine all ingredients, except red sauce, in a large mixing bowl and mix well, blending all ingredients into a uniform texture. In your cupped hand, form 34 to 36 small (one ounce) meatballs. Drop meatballs gently into Nana’s Red Sauce. Simmer, stirring gently every fifteen minutes to avoid breaking up the meatballs. Cook for 45 minutes to one hour or until meatballs are well done.

Nana’s Red Sauce Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
4 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup grated carrot
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup white wine
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (46-ounce) can tomato juice or V-8
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the beef and sausage in batches, transferring the browned meat to a bowl with a slotted spoon. When the meat is all browned, reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, celery and carrots. Use the vegetables to deglaze the pan scraping up the browned meat that stuck to the bottom. Cook for three minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and stir to mix well. Cook another two minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the white wine and turn the heat to high stirring constantly for three or four minutes or until the white wine is reduced by half. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato paste and tomato sauce, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the cooked meat and the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Simmer for two hours stirring every fifteen minutes.

Anna’s Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

3/4 pound lean freshly ground beef
1 link Italian sausage (about 2-4 ounces) — I use a small amount since it’s rich
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped baby carrots
2/3 cup roughly chopped celery
3 cloves garlic
2 small cans (16 ounces total) tomato sauce
5 1/2 ounces tomato paste (1 can minus a tablespoon)
1 can (6 ounces) Spicy Hot V-8
1/2 teaspoon celery salt plus more as needed
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons Greek Oregano
3/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup red wine (or more as needed)
Salt to taste (optional)

In a large, dry skillet, brown the beef and sausage together. Alternatively, you can do this in the same Dutch oven which you use for the sauce, but have a bowl handy to move the meat to for the second step.
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for another two minutes. Add (or return) the meat to the Dutch oven and stir it around with the vegetables. Now pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste and V-8. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in celery salt, basil, oregano, paprika, water and wine. Stir well. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until ready to use.

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  1. Lyannah says

    The first time I made homemade red gravy! That turned pasta into a completely new experience.

  2. Supergoo says

    Our family has a fixation on Lasagna. I own the rights to a recipe called “moms kick-ass lasagna”, my son-in-law created “JJ’s Lasagna” (really it’s a take off of mine, he, he), my daughter makes “the family’s best lasagna”. Mine’s the best!F

  3. Caley says

    My mom used to have macaroni and cheese for me after practice and competitions when I was in diving…it tasted so delicious after a hard workout!

  4. Susan J says

    My almost 3 year old is trying to learn to suck up the spaghetti noodle and make the slurp noise, but can’t seem to do it. It’s so cute watching her try.

  5. JoanS says

    My best pasta memory is the first time my daughter cooked for us in her own home. She drifted around the kitchen picking up this and that and soon set a big bowl of pasta primavera on the table. It was really good, but I laughed inside as I watched her father (who HATES asparagus in any form) valiantly eat a big portion and told her he loved it!!

  6. jan says

    Favorite pasta memory…First meal at home after my first son was born, which was penne with roasted tomatoes. So good!

  7. jacquie says

    my grandmom’s mac & cheese. which i would dearly love to recreate not that she has passed – unfortunately no one has a recipe for it ….

  8. Stephanie Schiltz says

    My maternal grandmother was Italian and made the best spaghetti in the world. Thursdays were always spaghetti and meatball dinners. I remember sitting at the huge dining room table with my family, and cousins and aunts and uncles. In the center of the table was the biggest pasta bowl with the spaghetti surrounded by baseball size meatballs, a bowl of parmesan cheese(the real stuff!) anda huge salad and enormous loaves of homemade Italian bread. All of the food and bread made by my Grandmother, who, by the way, was blind. She was 4’11 in. and a dynamo! I miss her.

  9. ladywild says

    Spaghetti almost ruined my marriage ;-). My husband worked hours to make the most delicious sauce. After dinner, we put it in container and I was supposed to stick it in the fridge. Instead, I put it in the cabinet. oi! He was so so sad.

  10. Kathy says

    The first time I tried white clam sauce with spaghetti (not linguini) when my husband and I were dating. It’s been a favorite for us ever since.

  11. Maria says

    Last summer I went to Italy with one of my old college friends and we took a pasta making class together in this tiny town about an hour outside of Florence from a woman named Wilma. After making all of the pasta we sat down to a delious dinner with all the varieties and some fantastic chianti! Tomorrow night might be a close 2nd – I’m having my parents over for dinner and cooking them lasagna with fresh pasta. Putting the skills I learned in class to use!!

  12. tiffany says

    Loving those spaghetti sauce recipes! My favorite mealtime memory involving pasta is the Christmases we used to have at my Grandma’s house eating lasagna!

  13. CindyD says

    I made a pasta casserole the first time our grandsons flew to visit us by themselves. It was a hit – one of them named it “The Stuff That Ben Loves” and now it’s a tradition that I make it for them.

  14. says

    I lost my wonderful mom recently and memorialized her via her meatballs–they are the best. My kids knew that Nana would have meatballs waiting for them whenever they flew in for a visit. I think what all grandkids remember best is the love their nanas put into the food they cooked for them.

  15. Kathy says

    My favorite meal was our macaroni and cheese. My mother baked it in a big bowl, not a casserole pan, and she put bread chunks on top with extra cheese. We all jostled to get the most of the top layer with the slightly browned and burned bits.

  16. Louise says

    Thinking of pasta brings back lots of memories, both visual and smell, of Italian and Oriental meals. I just remembered watching a Chinese man make a wad of dough into the finest threads of spaghetti.

  17. Martha T says

    Pasta is such a comfort food for me and it brings back very fond memories of my childhood.

  18. beth says

    Waking up Sunday mornings to the smell of browning meatballs and simmering gravy, then enjoying an early afternoon meal of antipasto, spaghetti and meatballs. Heaven!


  19. Kathleen says

    What sticks out is my dog getting into the spaghetti while I had my back turned. I can laugh about it now.

  20. Pat R says

    My very favorite pasta memory is, as a small child, helping my grandma make homemade noodles. She would drape them over kitchen towels placed over every chair in our kitchen. We had to go into another room to sit until they dried. She was a fantastic cook who taught me every thing I know about cooking and baking.

  21. BethL says

    Growing up in Nebraska, we didn’t call it pasta – it was either macaroni or egg noodles. We didn’t eat alot of macaroni, but I do remember making homemade egg noodles with my Grandma – YUM!!

  22. Carole Resnick says

    I would use the sauce to make my stuffed shells. Never heard of the brand but would love to try. Need the colinder to drain the shells.

  23. Mindy says

    A pasta meal memory of mine occured when I was little and my parents had gotten my friend’s older brother to babysit us – they must have been very desperate! My mom left a pot of “frog-eye” pasta (acne di pepe?) mixed with a tomato sauce for us for dinner. I just remember running all through the house like a pack of wild monkeys, throwing round red pasta balls everywhere. Our babysitter was so mad – we got it on his new shoes! – He never babysat again.

  24. Juli says

    my nephew made the best sauce i’ve ever eaten when our entire family was together 2 years ago for my mom’s 90th birthday. such rich flavor – yum!

  25. Karin Muserallo says

    I was visiting my son and he said ” Mom, you have to make your linguini and white clam sauce !” So we both went to the store and picked up our favorite brand of linguini, which happens to have the recipe for it right on the box and the one I have been using for the past 20 years. We figured out that if we tripled the recipe ,we would have enough for him,me, and his wife. We prepared it and all sat down at the table to eat it.Unfortunately, his wife doesn’t like clams. He sat there and ate and ate and the expression on his face told the whole story. He was having his favorite dinner fixed by him and Mama and no amount of money could have been given to me just looking at all the love on his plate and face! He ate leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week ! : )

  26. Teresa says

    Whenever my dad use to go out of town for work, my mom, sisters and me got to have macaroni and cheese and peas. It was my favorite meal as a picky little kid and my dad hated it so it was quite a treat!

  27. Gianna says

    I remember my grandmother making orecchiette from scratch in Italy and I ate them while they were drying. She chased us away but I think she enjoyed it!

  28. Kara D says

    I have fond memories of my grandmother overlooking pasta for us when we were little, which my brother loved and I hated.

  29. Lavi says

    The first time I ever made my own pasta, gnocchi and even though they were bland (not enough salt) I was so proud of them and they tasted better than at other restaurants!

  30. Sandy N says

    When I first got married, my Italian neighbor gave me her father’s spaghetti sauce recipe. It only took 6 hours to make!

  31. Natalie says

    Pasta is one of the few foods that everyone in my family likes. Plus it’s an easy weeknight meal!

  32. Suzanne says

    Making spinach manicotti and watching my fairly picky 6 year old clean her plate!

  33. says

    Mine involves violence against pasta. In high school I had to take home economics and one of the things we learned about was cooking pasta. They told us to throw it against the wall to see if it was done. So at home I did that-my mom thought I was nuts. (Turns out she was correct!)

  34. Logan says

    Once my family was eating macaroni and cheese and my mom started laughing really hard and piece of macaroni went up her nose. She kept trying to blow it out, but as the pasta has a hole in it the air just kept going through making a whistling noise. We were all laughing way to hard to help her.

  35. delia says

    When I was working as an intern in the DC area after college, I would make penne pasta with marinara for dinner practically every night.

  36. Janice says

    An early, and quite unsuccessful, experience making pasta from scratch sent me running to the Skinner aisle….

  37. Whitney Lindeman says

    My fiance and I got home last night from a bus trip with a bunch of fellow Wichita State University students (we were in St. Louis, watching the MVC basketball tournament). We were completely exhausted and SO hungry, so we ended up throwing together this quick and easy dish with pasta and some randomness we had in the kitchen. Delicious!

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