Main Dish

Grandma's Pasta Sauce

Zialena Winery

21112 River Road
Geyserville, CA 95441

The Mazzoni family's pasta sauce was passed down from Rose Mazzoni, the great-grandmother, to siblings Mark and Lisa Mazzoni, fourth-generation owners of Zialena Winery.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
  • 4 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 handful dried mushrooms
  • 1 dash allspice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Chicken broth (optional)
  • Dry red or white wine (preferably Zialena) (optional)
  • Cooked pasta for serving


In a large pot, warm the olive oil. Add the ground beef and brown slowly, stirring to break up the meat. Add the bell pepper, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, basil and rosemary and stir to combine. Simmer until the vegetables and herbs are melted down. 

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms and allspice, and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme, oregano and sugar to help cut the acidity. Cook slowly until the grease comes to the top, to avoid a "tomato taste" (high acidity), about 2 hours.

Chicken broth may be added as the sauce cooks down for more flavor, or 1 cup dry red or white wine, preferably Zialena.

Serve the sauce with your favorite pasta.

Zialena Winery

21112 River Road
Geyserville, CA 95441