My mom's step-dad, grand-pa Silano was born in Naples, Italy and made the best Italian food known to man! The entire family would gather whenever he made his Italian dishes and I remember eating and eating until I thought I would have to go to Spaghetti heaven!
His recipes were passed down within the family and here is my adaptation of one of them:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 slices bacon or 2tbsp pancetta
12 oz lean ground beef
1 x 14oz can tomatoes
1 cup water or stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tbsp capers
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves or substitute of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 tsp sweet paprika powder
for 6 servings of pasta
Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the ground beef and bacon (or pancetta), season with salt, pepper and paprika and stir to crumble meant and cook until brown.
2. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste, water, remaining herbs and capers and bring sauce to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 1.5 -2 hrs., stirring occasionally.
Note: As the sauce settles you will see that it becomes darker in color. This is a good indication that it is ready to be served. Make seasoning adjustments to taste and don't forget to bring your noodles to a boil!