Gift From The Past: Reddit User Finds 74-Year-Old Pasta Sauce Recipe


Pasta sauce can be made in a unique way with this Reddit user’s recipe.


  • The right kind of sauce can go a long way in making pastas tasty
  • A Reddit user shared a pasta sauce recipe he found in his garage
  • The handwritten recipe dated back to the year 1947

Pasta is a recipe which has become a global favourite. Whether it’s spaghetti or Penne, Fusili or Fettucine, there are so many shapes of Pasta to try. There are also a number of delicious sauces that Pasta can be cooked in – from a tangy and flavourful Arabiatta to a cheesy Bechamel. The right kind of Pasta sauce can make all the difference to the dish, which is why chefs and experts take extra care to get it right. A Reddit user was surprised to find a recipe for a pasta sauce dating back to the year 1947. The envelope containing the 74-year-old relic was cleverly hidden in a nook in his garage. Take a look at the post on Reddit:

Found this hidden in the wall in my garage built in 1947. Family pasta sauce recipe from the original owners.

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The Reddit post was shared by u/orestes77 in the sub-Reddit r/Old_recipes, where it received 2.1k upvotes and counting. “Found this recipe in my garage while removing some old peg board several years ago. I have not tried it, but thought this was the perfect place to share it,” wrote the user in the Reddit thread.


In the image that he shared, we could see detailed instructions carefully handwritten on a piece of paper. The recipe could make three gallons or approximately 11 litres of pasta sauce! It also used some interesting ingredients such as celery salt, dry mustard and paprika which are not something you will find in most pasta sauce recipes today. The oregano was also missing from the 74-year-old recipe – as several users pointed out. “If there is anything you don’t understand call I.L.0843 and ask for Bill Engleman,” read the concluding note to the recipe. 

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Spaghetti sauce can be made interesting with this Reddit user’s recipe. 

The pasta sauce recipe instantly became the subject of attention among foodies on Reddit, who suggested that it may have been written for a large family or a restaurant’s bulk order. “I love that the right tomatoes are so important they gave directions to the store,” commented one user while another wrote, “thank you for sharing this, it’s an awesome find!” One user also volunteered to transcribe and break down the recipe for three cups of Pasta sauce rather than three gallons.


Here Is The Full Pasta Sauce Recipe from 1947 By The Reddit User:


  • 1/4 c oil or shortening
  • 4 cups chopped onions fine
  • 4 teaspoons garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet basil crushed very fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves crushed very fine
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 & 1/4 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 72 ounces pureed tomatoes
  • Pepper to suit your taste


  1. Put oil or shortening in the pot. When hot, add onions.
  2. Saute for a few minutes.
  3. Now grind garlic and add to onions and saute again few minutes but do not let it get brown.
  4. Now add all seasoning. Saute again few minutes.
  5. Now add tomato puree adding enough water. If not thick enough to suit you mix little corn starch and water and add to it. Stir while adding same.
  6. When spaghetti is cooked have some melted butter or ole margarine to put on and little salt and pepper and little grated cheese and some sauce.
  7. Stir lightly and serve some sauce on the side for those who require more sauce and cheese on the side for people who like lots of cheese.

About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.

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