- A Reddit user discovered a very detailed recipe for spaghetti sauce inside the walls of his garage in Denver.
- His house was built in 1947 and no one managed to find the slip of paper before now.
- He shared photos of the relic to the subreddit r/OldRecipes, and group members were in awe over the relic.
Imagine moving into a new home and cleaning out your garage to find an old envelope with the words “Spaghetti Recipe” scribbled on the front. That’s what happened to David, or orestes77 on Reddit, while he was removing old pegboards from his garage walls in Denver. And when he retrieved said envelope, he was surprised to actually discover very detailed, handwritten cooking instructions for a spaghetti sauce inside.
“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,” David told Today. His house was built in 1947, and somehow, no one managed to find the slip of paper (or remove those peg boards) before now.
David was also shocked by the ingredient amounts the recipe calls for—a gallon of chopped onions, five pounds of ground beef, and a half of a cup of salt—which made him think it had to be written for a large family or restaurant. Still, he shared photos of the relic to the subreddit r/OldRecipes, and group members were in awe over the time capsule movie moment.
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Right off the bat, people noticed that aside from the massive yield, the recipe also includes some pretty unconventional ingredients for spaghetti—celery salt, dry mustard, and paprika. One Italian commenter even called it sacrilegious. But the recipe’s maker (signed Bill Engleman) was clearly passionate about future followers getting them and the instructions right—he left detailed instructions about where to get the best cans of tomato puree, “from Parmelli’s, just off 15th,” and at the end, noted, “If there’s anything you don’t understand, call G.L. 0843 and ask for Bill Engleman.”
So far, David told Today he’s tried to track down the house’s original owners using evidence from the recipe including the market, but he’s had no luck. “Google searches came up empty,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to try to track down more info and see if I can share the recipe with the descendants of the author on Ancestry.com or email it to them.” Since then, a fellow Redditor did some digging and shared a 1946 phonebook listing with Engleman’s address.
“Now we have his middle initial! The plot thickens,” David replied. “The address is nearby, but not my home. I wonder if he moved or was involved in the construction? No[w] I’m picturing a carpenter leaving recipes around his job sites as Easter eggs.”
Due to the recipe’s volume, David hasn’t tried making the famous spaghetti yet, but he wants to. “I think this house needs to have this recipe cooked in it at least one more time!” he wrote in the Reddit thread. Thankfully, another fellow Redditor (they really came through!) scaled down the recipe to more practical amounts, and after interviewing David, Today food writer Terri Peters made some for herself.
“The sauce was flavorful and had a unique taste: I could definitely pick up hints of the celery salt, which made it different than spaghetti sauce I’d had in the past,” she wrote. “The ratio of meat to sauce made it very light, a sauce I think would make a great addition to lasagna or meatball subs, but it didn’t seem quite substantial enough to stand alone on top of pasta.”
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