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Today's Case

Mayberry Spaghetti Sauce

Subject: aunt bea's spaghetti sauce
From: Jayne
Date: 2/6/2021, 7:41 AM

On 2/5/2021 1:16 PM, Jayne wrote

hello there!
i am hoping you can help me in my search today....some time ago, 
i found the recipe for aunt bea's spaghetti sauce, which is a 
recipe from an episode of the old "andy of mayberry" tv series....
the episode was called "dinner at eight"...when i made the recipe, 
i really liked it, and now i cannot locate it. it was a meat sauce 
and it had a lot of dried oregano in it, but it was very good....
thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide.

Hi Jayne,

I'm a bit confused by your request. It's been many years since I saw that episode of "Andy Griffith". I had to search for a description of that episode and refresh my memory of the plot.

Aunt Bea's spaghetti sauce was not involved in the episode. The story was about Aunt Bea going out of town and Andy's friends were concerned about him having a good dinner. As a result, he ends up having to eat three spaghetti dinners to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. Goober fixes the first spaghetti dinner for him. Then he has to go and eat another spaghetti dinner prepared by Howard's mother, Mrs. Sprague. Finally, Andy's girlfriend Helen and her uncle fix him yet another spaghetti dinner. By then, Andy is stuffed so full that he's about to burst. As far as I know there was no actual recipe given on the TV program, so the recipe you had must have come from one of the many "Aunt Bea" Cookbooks. There are several of them. I could not find a recipe online named "Aunt Bea's Spaghetti Sauce". The three recipes are in a cookbook called "Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook". We don't have it, but you can find it at Amazon. The recipes are: "Mother Sprague's", "Goober's", and "Helen's Uncle Edward's". I could not find them online.


On 2/5/2021 7:10 PM, Jayne wrote: thank you......if i could remember where i found the recipe, i would share that with you, but yes, you are right on all the details...perhaps the actual recipe was from an "aunt bea" or "mayberry" cookbook...i will continue to look on your site in case someone comes through with the recipe, or maybe just buy the was such a nice sauce, i do hope to make it again. take care, jayne

Hi Jayne,

Well, I went to Amazon to see if there was a copy of  "Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook" for sale at a reasonable price that I could recommend to you. When I got there, I found that they were having a special sale on that cookbook in Kindle format for less than $2.00. I couldn't pass that up, so I got it.

The biggest problem with your search is that there were three different spaghetti sauce recipes on that "dinner at eight" episode of "Andy Griffith", and you gave me no clue as to which one of the three was the one you wanted.  Below are all three recipes: Goober's, Mother Sprague's and Helen's Uncle Edward's. It's up to you to decide which one is the one you had before.


Goober's Secret Spaghetti Sauce

1 large onion
1 medium green pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 4 1/2 ounce jar sliced mushrooms
2 14 1/2-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 package Italian spaghetti sauce mix
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 cup water
Cooked pasta, tossed with butter

Chop the onion and green pepper. In a large skillet heat the butter
and saute the onion and green pepper until tender. Remove from the
skillet. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned.
In a large saucepan combine the sauteed onion and pepper, browned
ground beef, and remaining ingredients except for the pasta. Simmer
over low heat for about 1 hour.

Serve the sauce over the buttered pasta. Do not combine the pasta
with the sauce before serving. The sauce can be frozen for use later.
Mother Sprague's Family Spaghetti Sauce

2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon parsley
oregano to taste
1 pound ground beef
cooked spaghetti
grated cheese

In a sauce pan combine the tomato paste, 4 tomato paste cans of water,
the garlic salt, onions salt, celery salt,, parsley, and oregano.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Add the sauce, and simmer
for 30 minutes. Serve over cooked spaghetti, and sprinkle with cheese.
Serves 4 to 6
Helen's Uncle Edward's Secret Spaghetti Sauce

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1/2 clove garlic
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed basil
1 teaspoon salt
cooked spaghetti

In a skillet, heat the oil and brown the onion. Add the ground beef,
garlic, 2 tablespoons parsley, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/4 cup of
Parmesan cheese. Cook until the beef is browned, and transfer to a dish.

In the same skillet, combine the tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar,
oregano, basil, salt, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 1/4 teaspoon
pepper, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the
ground beef mixture and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with cooked
spaghetti. Serves 6.
i know my search seemed confusing....the main reason is because i could 
SWEAR that the recipe i found a few years ago was titled "aunt bee's 
spaghetti sauce"....even though i know in that episode, hers was never 
mentioned.....i thank you wholeheartedly for going to such lengths to 
help...each of the recipes in the cookbook has some oregano, but the 
recipe i had used a unusually large amount of it, which peaked my 
curiosity, as i would never use that much in my own tomato sauces....
but the thing is, it worked! it was amazing, and i'm sure it was due to 
the huge amount of oregano, which gave it a wonderfully distinct flavor...
i am going to make a batch tonight, using bits and pieces of each of these 
recipes, but heaping on a lot more oregano....i will let you know how it 
turns out...again, i thank you for making my obsession your own!
On 2/6/2021 8:27 AM, Jayne wrote:
i just found this online, and i looks a lot more like the one i have been 
searching for, due to the copious amount of oregano that is called for....
i will try this tonight and see how it turns out.

Courthouse Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 14 1/2 ounce can tomatoes
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf

In a crock pot combine all of the ingredients. Stir thoroughly and cook on low 
for 10 to 12 hours (or 6), or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Serves 6 (or 3).

Hi Jayne,

Well, that recipe is in the book I got, but it doesn't seem to have any connection with the "Dinner at Eight" episode. It wasn't one of the three spaghetti dinners that Andy had to eat in that episode. The "Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook" just says this about it: Mayor Stoner stumbled across this one day. Since you didn't mention a crock pot and it wasn't named "Aunt Bee's Spaghetti Sauce", I disregarded it.

Oh well... Glad you found it.


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