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Sausage hors d'oeuvres

Rancho Murieta's first Italian Festival, benefitting St. Vincent De Paul's outreach efforts, was a sell-out hit Sunday afternoon, with 200 paying customers spread around Lake Clementia Amphitheater. Event organizer Natachia Taylor was on the run throughout the day but found a few moments to distribute doggie treats, above. The festival featured food (like the sausage hors d'oeuvres at right), wine, crafts, a contest to produce the best one-hour spaghetti sauce (winning recipe below), a pooch parade, a grape-stomping event and a lot of neighborly socializing. It concluded with a spaghetti dinner and the music and singing of a strolling accordionist as the beautiful autumn day drew to a close.


The spaghetti sauce contest was won by Lisa Wiese, who took the People's Choice honors, and Rich Williams, who took the judges' award.

Sam Greco

Sam Greco's minestrone soup was a big hit.

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The winning recipe

Sauce contest winner Lisa Wiese, who took People's Choice honors, shares the winning recipe (thank you, Lisa!), which was her grandmother's:


Olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion
4 cups chopped tomatoes - canned or fresh
1 large clove garlic, minced
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper

In a heavy skillet add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.  Heat oil.  Add onion and cook until limp.  Do not brown.  Add the garlic and cook a few minutes longer.  Chop up about ½ cup basil and add to mixture.  Continue cooking 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice and cook over medium heat until the juice starts to evaporate and the sauce starts to thicken... Add more chopped fresh basil to taste.

Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the sauce over cooked pasta.  Season with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

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