Iowa Spaghetti Sauce

When we were young, we looked forward to visiting my Aunt Anita in Muscatine, Iowa. She always had this ready for us when we arrived. We fought over the mushrooms, so over time, she added up to three times the amount of mushrooms called for!

Iowa Spaghetti recipe


  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 large can mushrooms, drained


  1. Brown garlic in 1 tablespoon salad oil; discard garlic. Add ground meat and salt, 1/2 cup water and cook.
  2. When the meat is half done, add the onions and cook until done.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the mushrooms, and cook until thick, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  4. Add mushrooms when thick.
  5. Serve over spaghetti!


A favorite recipe of my Aunt, Anita Katherine Louise Roth – Muscatine, Iowa.