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Grilled Eggplant & Mama's Meat Sauce

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Last week we had some pretty cool days here in Michigan. By cool, I mean freezing for it being the middle of August. I love warm comfort food on chilly fall days and since it felt like one I decided to treat it as such.

I made my mama, Laura's meat sauce, but instead of pouring it over spaghetti noodles I decided to use eggplant I bought for $.69. The eggplant made it lighter and feel a little less like fall and more like summer. My mom’s sauce is one of the best out there! I was spoiled as a kid because my mom rarely made spaghetti from a jar, and if she did my little brother Josh would cry…literally. I started making my mama’s sauce for Brian after a year of dating (I think it’s one of the reasons he married me) and now he too refuses to eat spaghetti sauce from a jar. I have shared this recipe with friends over the years and I'm pretty sure I’ve converted a few people to rebel against jarred spaghetti sauce.

Mama’s Meat Sauce


1LB ground turkey (or ground beef that’s actually what my mom uses)

1 cup chopped onion

1 Medium green pepper seeded and chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 can crushed tomatoes

16 oz (2 small cans) tomato sauce

½ Cup chopped parsley

1 ½ TSP Italian seasoning

1 ½ TSP salt

1 ½-2 TSP sugar

¼ TSP pepper

½ TSP Red pepper flakes

1 TSP Olive oil

Optional: 8oz white button mushrooms

*Makes 4 servings



In a large pot, lightly coat the pan with olive oil add garlic and onion. Sautees until the onions are translucent. Add ground turkey and brown. Add chopped green pepper, black pepper, salt, Italian seasonings, crushed tomato, tomato sauce, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, and sugar. I personally like my sauce a little sweet especially with the heat from the red pepper flakes, so I would do closer to 2 TSP. Add sugar to your taste. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce to low, cover and simmer for at least an hour. I like to have it on a super low simmer for almost two hours. Uncover your sauce for the last 30 minutes to simmer without the lid. During this time, add fresh mushrooms. Mushrooms are actually part of the original recipe, but Brian hates them. The recipe is ten times better with the mushrooms. This is a chunky meat sauce with lots of veggies. You could add even more mushrooms and make it vegetarian.

Grilled Eggplant


1 Large eggplant



Olive oil



Slice your eggplant into ½ inch thick pieces. Use a basting brush, brush olive oil over both sides of your eggplant. Salt and pepper both sides. Grill your eggplant on high heat until tender and both sides of the eggplant of nice grill marks.

Or skip the eggplant and toss some pasta in boiling water. Totally up to you.

Plate your dish by stacking two slices of eggplant on top and ladle meat sauce in between each layer. Garnish with grated parmesan and chopped parsley.


I know you’re going to love this sauce!

This post is dedicated to my hard working mama who always put her family before herself. We love you and appreciate everything you do for us. Couldn’t ask for a better role model. Love you mom and thanks for teaching me this recipe!

Have a great week friends!

#pasta #italianfood #mamasfood

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