CNYEats A Taste of Utica: Oliva Family Macaroni Sauce and Canning Instructions

by Joanne on December 13, 2009

Since we are going to be making a lot of sauce in the coming weeks, it made sense to offer this weeks recipe with the instructions on canning as well.

This weeks CNYEats from our book “A Taste of Utica” DSC_0355 is on page 27 and posted by Fat Sal.  “Oliva Family Macaroni Sauce”



Note:  I cut this recipe in half.  There are only two of us and in looking ahead, we are in for a lot of sauce.  Ted is the only meat eater in the house so this recipe was ALL for him.  The freezer can only hold so much.  However, I have included the original quantities listed in the book. 

Ted thought this was a terrific sauce. He said it had so much flavor and didn’t need any refinements what so ever.


  • 56 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 56 oz tomato puree
  • 24 oz tomato paste
  • fresh parsley (minced) = approx. 1/2 cup for full recipe
  • fresh basil (slivered or chopped) = approx. 4 large leaves for full recipe


  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 –4  cloves of garlic (whole)
  • water (no more than 28 oz)
  • olive oil – about 1/3 to 1/2 cup
  • 1 lb Italian sausage (remove casing before adding to pot)
  • 1 lb pork “country ribs” (I didn’t use the ribs but they are a GREAT addition!)
  • 1 lb beef chuck cut into cubes
  • 1 lb meatballs (due to time limitations, I purchased “Dino’s” – great flavor, according to Ted)….Dino’s Sausage & Meat Co
    722 Catherine St, Utica
    (315) 732-2661
  • 1 lb bracciole (I didn’t include bracciole either – but that would be another very flavorful addition for meat lovers sauce.  If you are unsure of what bracciole is. also spelled braciole, it is simply flank steak rolled up and cooked in a tomato sauce, in its very basic form.

Fry the meat (each separately …see why I limited myself to only 3 meats?!!!!)…in the 1/3 to 1/2 cup oil and set aside. 

The Meats

The Meats

The Cooked Beef Chuck and Italian Sausage (medium)

The Cooked Beef Chuck and Italian Sausage (medium)




Frying "Dino's" Meat Balls

Frying "Dino's" Meat Balls







Fry the garlic in the same oil that the meat came from. *I removed the garlic cloves before adding the tomato paste.  Garlic gets bitter if burned.

Add the tomato paste and fry, on medium heat, until darkened (I did this in the same pan with all the oil – you need the fats in the sauce) but not burned.  This will take about 3 – 5 minutes.  Add the puree, crushed tomatoes, water, parsley, basil, salt and pepper to taste.   Cook on low setting for one hour and stir frequently.



Add the meat after an hour (all except for the meat balls) and cook on low for  2 to 3 hours (I used the longer time and cooked for 3).  Stir frequently.





Add the meatballs and continue cooking on low setting for one more hour.  Stir frequently and gently other wise you will break up the meatballs.



The sauce freezes well but, as the title indicates, serve it over macaroni and to a lot of people, then you will be sure to have plenty of freezer room for our next sauce recipe.  


In case you are interested in canning this wonderful sauce, here are the directions for canning on page 38 of our book:


This is posted by Mario who writes “I will remember that smell of the canning until the day I die – it has been instilled in my mind.  We boiled and peeled and canned tomatoes with fresh basil.  I remember going to my cousin’s farm in Frankfort (NY) and he would give us small salt shakers to take in the fields to eat those beautiful ruby-red tomatoes warmed by the sun and freshly picked.  I bet I ate half-bushel by myself.  Then he would make a campfire for us kids and roast fresh corn. 

It doesn’t get any better than this and I would give everything I own to go back to those days! Life was so much simpler!”

I think we can all relate to some child hood memory the way Mario can regarding the fresh tomato picking.  The campfire corn sounds wonderful!

Mario’s “Canning Sauce”….

The way we bottled the sauce and kept it sealed was as follows:  The jars and covers (lids) need to be sterilized before filling by boiling for about 15 minutes.  NOTE(from Joanne):  I use an empty dishwasher to sterilize my jars.

Fill the jars and VERY  LOOSELY place the cover on and place in a water bath.  The best water bath is to fill a pan with water and place a cloth towel in the water on the bottom of the pan.  This will prevent the jars from cracking by “bouncing” as the water boils.

Place the filled bottles in the water and put on the heat to boil.  I would suggest boiling about 15-20 minutes.  The inside sauce has to reach a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria.  After boiling, remove the jars and tighten the caps securely.  As we learned in science, the heat expands and the cold shrinks so as the bottles cook. the vacuum seal is created.  After tightening the caps, my parents used to turn them upside down in a bushel lined with dry cloth towels until the cooled down.   By turning them upside down, it prevents air (with bacteria) from getting in the bottle while it cools and creates a seal.

IMPORTANT!  Make sure the covers are very loose when you boil!!!! NOTE: We used to “can” over 200 bushels a year so I know how to peel, can and seal the sauce.    Thanks Mario.  It almost makes me want to do some canning. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until next tomato season.  Great info though.


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  • At 2009.12.15 17:33, Jeena said:

    Merry Christmas Joanne. 🙂

    These meatballs look fantastic!

    • […] Since making mince pies was a last minute decision, I didn’t have the 3 week advance to make my own mincemeat since it improves with age and last indefinitely.  I made a batch one year and had enough left for the following year.  Although I did keep it in the freezer instead of going through the canning procedure (detailed here).  […]

      • […] have “Raw Sauce” on page 36. “Spaghetti Sauce” and “Arrabbiata Sauce” on page 37.  Canning the sauces (page 38) was posted 12/13/2009 if you want tips on […]

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