Redditor finds secret 70-year-old pasta sauce recipe hidden in his garage

spaghetti with sauce
Photo: Steve Russell / Contributor (Getty Images)

I’ve never found an accidental treasure hidden somewhere, like, say, a stash of bootlegger bottles stored under floorboards, or bank heist plans stored in a vent, or even a decades-old joint stuffed into a crack at the back of a closet. But one Denver Redditor is far luckier than I: he found an envelope labelled “Spaghetti Recipe” hidden behind a pegboard attached to the walls of his garage. Inside was a hand-written recipe... for pasta sauce.

User orestes77 (his real name is David) told Today that he believes the envelope was left there deliberately for someone to discover.

Advertisement

The ingredients include a gallon (yes, a gallon) of chopped onions, five pounds of ground beef, and curiously, celery salt. That’s an enormous yield of sauce.

“It’s interesting that it makes so much,” David said. “Was it for a restaurant?”

The recipe writer’s name was Bill Engleman. His instructions gave directions to the local market, and he even left a phone number where he could be reached “if there is anything you don’t understand.” The house was originally built in 1947, meaning the recipe was placed in the garage some time after that, but all attempts to locate Engleman and even the old market, Parnelli’s, were fruitless.

While David didn’t try the recipe since it involved gallons of ingredients, the writer of the Today article, Terri Peters, did give it a shot with a scaled down version that still yielded a shitload of sauce. Engleman suggested the best way to serve it was with spaghetti and garlic bread, so that’s what Peters did.

The verdict? Turns out the recipe was pretty good! It was lighter than Peters expected, so it would probably work better as an accompaniment to lasagna or the like rather than as a standalone sauce. Still, the recipe is a gem and worth hanging on to, and the story itself is probably enough to make the sauce taste amazing.

Advertisement

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`

DISCUSSION

Sorry I just have to sit down for a second and put my head between my legs.

“shortening”

“dry mustard”

“1/2 cup salt”

“pepper to suit your taste”

“if not thick enough to suit you mix little corn starch and water and add to it”

And then you serve it over egg noodles or vermicelli!? Has anyone told the twitter handle “italians mad at food” that this exists?

This is repulsive.