This authentic 4-meat Italian pasta sauce recipe has been passed through my family for generations

Happy holidays! For Halloween, you met my dad, “The Marshall.” Now, in honor of Christmas, meet my mom, Sue. She’s amazing, and she gives Tyson the same look I do.

My mother’s grandmother, Rose, is from Florence, Italy, and this is her tomato sauce recipe. My own grandmother always made it for us at Christmastime.

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This sauce is the real deal, y’all. It contains four types of meat, and it’s served over homemade manicotti. Plus, it’s been passed down through the generations, direct from Italy.

You will need:


  • 4 cans whole tomatoes
  • 4-6 mild Italian sausage links
  • 1 pepperoni
  • 1½ pounds short ribs
  • Canned pasta sauce
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar
  • Bay leaves


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • Bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Basil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

Manicotti filling

  • 16 ounces ricotta
  • 15 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of nutmeg

This may be an authentic Italian recipe, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to slice anything with a razor like they do in Goodfellas, Tyson.


I hope you love this sauce as much as I do. It’s my family’s Christmas gift to you!

More of my favorite family recipes

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Elissa Benzie About the author:
Elissa is a millennial wife and mom with two toddlers. She's neurotic and disorganized, she's over it and exhausted. But it's OK, that's life! Follow her on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest or Instagram
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