Man found a spaghetti sauce recipe from 1947 hidden in his wall

Old recipes are often passed down from one generation to the next, lovingly tucked away in a family cookbook or recipe box. But a special recipe can pop up in the most unexpected places, as was the case for the Denver man renovating his garage who stumbled upon a long-forgotten recipe tucked behind the pegboard.

David, who posts on Reddit as orestes77, posted the contents of the envelope marked “spaghetti recipe” to the Old Recipes subreddit.

“Found this hidden in the wall in my garage built in 1947,” he posted with a photo. “Family pasta sauce recipe from the original owners.”

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

He told “Today” he believes finding this old family recipe was no accident.

“From the spot it was placed and the way it was worded, I am certain it was left there for a future owner to find one day,” he said.

In addition to how and where it was hidden, there was another surprise with this recipe — the yield for the finished dish is three gallons of sauce! Ingredients for the recipe included a gallon of finely chopped onion, 5 pounds of ground beef, three huge cans of tomato puree and half a cup of salt.


The original recipe writer, Bill Engleman, left his name at the bottom of the recipe pages, and he gave specific instructions on where to find certain ingredients and how to prepare them. “3 no 10 cans puree from Parmelli’s just off 15S market,” he wrote. (The corner of Market and 15th streets in downtown Denver is now home to an artisan olive oil shop.) He was even kind enough to leave his phone number (G.L. 0843) just in case the next cook had any questions.

David said he has tried to track down the recipe author but so far hasn’t had any luck. He also hasn’t made the recipe yet given the yield but said in the Reddit thread he hopes to give it a shot one day.

“I think this house needs to have this recipe cooked in it at least one more time!” he posted.

Hope he has a big sauce pot!

Food, News, Recipes

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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