State Plate: Fridays at 7p ET

Celebrate National Spaghetti Day with Taylor Hicks’ Secret Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Happy National Spaghetti Day! Celebrate it Taylor Hicks-style with his special family recipe. Not only is the host of State Plate sharing his secret recipe exclusively with INSP viewers, but he’s also revealing the one ingredient that makes this meat sauce stand out among others: Brown sugar!

The trick is in the slow simmer to blend all these mouthwatering flavors! The longer it simmers the more savory the sauce. For many traditional Italian families, making the sauce is an all-day ritual.

Don’t forget the Italian bread, not only to accompany your meal, but to sneak in a dunk or two while the sauce is cooking!

So get out a big pot and get this flavorful sauce simmering on the stove for a hearty, satisfying meal—on National Spaghetti Day and any day.

And don’t forget to watch Taylor chow down on America’s favorite foods as the host of State Plate every Friday at 9p ET.


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onions (chopped and divided)
1 red pepper (coarsely chopped)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
12 ounces tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons dried oregano


3 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 pinch red pepper flakes
28 ounces Italian style stewed tomatoes
56 ounces crushed tomatoes
8 ounces fresh mushrooms (sliced)
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cups brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Use a large pot or stockpot.
  2. Sauté garlic, onion, mushrooms and peppers, in the olive oil for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef and sausage. Brown until the meat it completely cooked.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and season with the oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaves and red pepper flakes.
  6. Stir well to mix all ingredients
  7. Simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remember, the longer it simmers the tastier the sauce.

Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving hot over spaghetti. Add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a hunk of Italian bread and Mangia!