Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Mary Alford, and her recipe for Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs along with an introduction to her inspirational romantic suspense, Rocky Mountain Pursuit. Please join me in welcoming Mary and savor her recipe for spaghetti sauce as you read about her new book!
In my February Love Inspired Suspense release, Rocky Mountain Pursuit, my main characters Jase and Reyna share a romantic meal of spaghetti while hiding out from some very bad guys. Jase and Reyna didn’t have much time to prepare their meal. They used premade sauce, but I guess if you were on the run, it would taste wonderful. I hope you’re not on the run and can take the time to try out this recipe and enjoy it. It’s well worth the prep.
Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and beaten egg. Mix well and form into 12 balls. Store, covered, in refrigerator until needed.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 90 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and meatballs and simmer 30 minutes more. Serve.
Everyone believes agent Jase Bradford is dead—everyone but Reyna Peterson. Only he can protect her now that someone wants the information her CIA husband died to secure. As the one member of their spy team not killed, Jase must remain in the shadows. Yet when Reyna leads the enemy right to his mountain refuge and blows his cover, Jase risks his life for hers. As his best friend’s beautiful widow scales the walls around his heart, whether out of loyalty or love, he makes it his duty to secure her safety. But when their pursuers trap them in the snowy Colorado mountains, will it become his final mission?
Reyna’s breath stuck in her throat. She clutched the steering wheel in a death grip to try to keep the tiny car from sliding off the ice encrusted road. She was way out of her comfort zone. Truth be told, she had been since the nightmare first began.
She slowed to a snail’s pace as an onslaught of ice and snow clung to the windshield, making visibility next to zero. The storm had continued to intensify since she’d been up on the mountain. She had never felt more terrified or alone than she did at this moment, yet turning back wasn’t an option. Behind her lay almost certain prison time—or worse. Agent Martin had all but promised as much. Still, no matter what lay ahead, she had to find out the truth. Was Jase Bradford dead or alive? Reyna believed her life might depend on the answer.
Her eyes darted fearfully to the rearview mirror. What if the men watching her house had somehow managed to follow her here to Defiance, Colorado? She couldn’t let them find the laptop and then kill her before she had the chance to clear Eddie’s name and prove her husband had been murdered. To keep that from happening Reyna had devised a plan. After she’d called the hospital to let her supervisor know she would be taking an extended leave of absence, she had left the laptop in a secure storage facility in Eldorado, Colorado. Then she’d sent a letter to Sara letting her know where to find it if something were to happen to her.
Reyna scrubbed her hand over her weary eyes. The frantic thirteen-plus-hour drive from Stevens, Texas, to Defiance had taken its toll. She was exhausted beyond belief. Thinking clearly took more strength than she had. She’d hit Defiance a couple of hours before darkness descended and just as the edge of the storm arrived.
Maggie, the woman working the night shift at the diner, told her there were only four houses up on Defiance Mountain and none of them belonged to a Jase Bradford. Still, Reyna pressed on because she was all out of options. She believed Eddie had been murdered for what he’d discovered on the laptop. If she wanted to stay out of prison long enough to prove that, then she’d need Jase Bradford’s help to unravel the contents of the files hidden there.
Reyna leaned forward in her seat. She’d driven past three of the houses already and there were clear signs no one had been home in quite some time. One house remained. The last one up was almost at the top of the mountain, according to Maggie, and the storm wasn’t showing any sign of letting up.
She could now barely see the hood of the car, much less the road. The conditions were deteriorating quickly and she had no idea how much farther the car could make it.
Even facing all those dangers, her biggest fear was that Eddie had been wrong and the man buried in Arlington National Cemetery was indeed Jase Bradford. After all, they both had attended his memorial service at Langley. Everyone including the CIA acknowledged Jase was dead.
Why then had Eddie been so convinced in the weeks before his death that Jase was still alive?
She eased down on the gas pedal and the tires spun on the slick gravel, spewing debris against the underside of the car. Since she’d moved from DC back to her childhood home, Reyna had grown accustomed to mild winters. Nothing in Stevens, Texas, had prepared her for this.
The tires finally caught, the car lurched forward, and Reyna remembered to breathe. The road continued its upward spiral broken only by a series of switchbacks that snaked around the side of the mountain. Her heartbeat pounded a frantic rhythm in her ears when she reached another ninety-degree bend. She’d been at it for over an hour and had only managed a quarter of a mile.
Up ahead, the headlights flashed across the left side the road. It appeared to slough off a good foot from the edge. It was pitch-black out and she had no idea how steep the drop-off was. A fall would almost certainly result in major injuries…or death. If she did survive, hypothermia would set in quickly. She’d be dead by morning.
Reyna nudged the car along. She had almost reached the end of the switchback when she felt the vehicle slide on black ice and inch closer to the side of the mountain. Panicking, she jerked the wheel hard in the opposite direction. The small car skated backward some twenty feet. As a result, the tires lost their tenuous grip and slithered closer to the edge.
She floored the gas and the vehicle wrenched forward, swerved sideways and headed straight for the drop-off. Reyna screamed and tried to turn the wheel but it was useless. It moved freely in her hands. She had lost control.
Buy the Book:
MARY ALFORD was inspired to become a writer after reading romantic suspense greats Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Soon creating characters and throwing them into dangerous situations that test their faith came naturally for Mary. In 2012 Mary entered the Speed Dating contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and later received “the call”. Writing for Love Inspired Suspense has been a dream come true for Mary.
Connect with Mary:
As s special treat, Mary is giving away a print copy of Rocky Mountain Pursuit to one U.S. winner! So be sure to include your EMAIL so Mary can contact you if you win. (Email will not be used for spam or any other purpose other than to notify the winner).
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!