Monday, April 22, 2013

Spaghetti Factory's Meat Sauce and Mizithra Cheese Sauce

I LOVE the Spaghetti Factory... I have lots of fun memories of going there with my sisters when I was younger and then again with my daughter on our 'girl's weekends' together. I have tried lots of things on the menu, but my favorite is to get the manager's special where you get 2 sauces side by side on your spaghetti. My fave are the 'Meat Sauce' and the 'Mizithra Cheese' sauce... You just HAVE to have them both because their both such rich delicious sauces, you'd get sick of them if all you had to eat was one or the other...this way with them both you can trade off. I was so excited when I ran across this recipe on the Internet... there were tons of copy cat recipes for the sauces, but this one looked the best and on the easier side to make than some. We weren't disappointed! I made it when my daughter came home and she thought it was even better than the Spaghetti Factory's. You have to make this, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. ....After all (to quote my daughter) " there is nothing like a good pasta!!!" (she said with Mizithra cheese all around the outside of her mouth) Love you Sarah!

Spaghetti Factory's Meat Sauce and Mizithra Cheese Sauce
 *your favorite brand of  uncooked spaghetti noodles (or other long pasta) - I like  Barilla

For the Meat Sauce
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1-6oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
4 oz tomato sauce (the small cans in the stores are 8oz, so use half of one)
8 oz diced tomatoes (I used half of a 14.5oz can)
1-4 ounce can mild green chilies
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp rosemary
1 bay leaf
dash of garlic powder

For the Browned Butter and Mizithra
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
4 oz. mizithra cheese, grated--you can find Mizithra cheese in the gourmet cheese section of most stores
       (I found it in my local Ridley's grocery store YAY!)
salt to taste
minced parsley, to garnish (optional

  1. Make the meat sauce. Start by browning the beef and onion in a medium saucepan. Drain.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, green chilies, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and spices.
  3. Mix the tomato paste with the water until it looks like a thick sauce. Add it to the mixture.
  4. Heat everything until it's boiling, then reduce the heat, cover the saucepan, and leave it to simmer for an hour. You'll want to check on it occasionally and stir.
  5. While that's going, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Simmer until the butter is amber in color. Don't stir -- the milk solids will darken and fall to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Grate the mizithra and mince the parsley.
  7. When the butter has sufficiently darkened, strain it into a small bowl using a strainer and some cheesecloth (to make sure none of the solids get through).
  8. Time it so that you will be ready to top warm pasta with the meat sauce when it's ready. Heat a large pot of water to boiling, adding salt and oil if you desire. Prepare your pasta according to the package's directions. Usually al dente spaghetti will take between 7-9 minutes. Drain the pasta and pour a cup of cold water over it to stop the cooking.
  9. Transfer the pasta back to the same pot. Drizzle with a desired amount of browned butter (depending on how many servings you've got) and toss. If you're making meat sauce, it's up to you if you want to reserve some unbuttered pasta for that half (I do). Alternatively you could simply spoon butter over the portion you desire while it's on the plate and skip this tossing step entirely.
On a serving plate, heap with half buttered pasta and half unbuttered pasta. Ladle the meat sauce over the unbuttered half. Generously sprinkle (as you can see I was very generous)  the buttered half with grated mizithra and garnish with parsley


  1. Interesting the OSF menu states their meat sauce is made with "ground beef sautéed with onions and celery"...yet yours has no celery...perhaps your is not the actual recipe and simply some typical made up version.

    1. I ran across this recipe on the internet somewhere, no it's not the official recipe, just one I liked so I thought I would share. I just post recipes I like for friends and family because I enjoy cooking, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

    2. In my personal hunt for this recipe I have found the meat sauce much more rich in tomato and garlic . I tried another recipe site, and modified the recipe with extra sauce and paste. Also,Stewed tomato contains celery like OSF has. It's work in progress for me.

    3. Every single place I find an OSF meat sauce recipe, there is the mysterious Darryl R with this verbatim comment on it. On every one of them. What kind of weird bot is this?