Wahlburgers

Wahlberg Family Favorite Recipes

Alma Wahlberg

Alma Wahlberg had her hands full raising Paul, Mark, Donnie, and their six siblings. With that many mouths to feed, she had to be resourceful in the kitchen. But just because a recipe is resourceful doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious! All nine Wahlberg kids had their favorite dishes growing up. Below, Alma shares those recipes, along with some special memories and anecdotes for each.

Alma's Sauce

Alma's Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 loaf white bread
  • Bowl of whole milk
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 cans tomato paste
  • 1 can Italian tomato sauce
  • 2 cans crushed Italian tomatoes
  • Chicken wings
  • 3 pork ribs
  • 1 package hot sausages
  • 1 package Italian sausages
  • 1.5-2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 coffee cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Finely chopped onions to taste
  • Dry parsley and other seasonings to taste
  • 1 handful sugar
  • (optional) 1 raw egg

DIRECTIONS

Part 1: The Meat!

Meatballs: Add 1/2 loaf of white bread to the bowl of whole milk and mix until it's mushy. Take 1.5-2 lbs of ground beef and mash it up in a big bowl with a coffee cup full of grated parmesan cheese. Squeeze the extra milk out of the bread mixture and add it to the beef, along with finely chopped onions and garlic to taste, salt and pepper, dry parsley flakes to taste (not too much!), and mix well. If it feels like it's too dry, add a raw egg. Either fry the meatballs or bake them, making sure to take them out just before they're fully cooked.

Chicken Wings: Purchase chicken wings already cut in half, and put them directly into the sauce when directed without cooking first.

Pork Ribs: Get a small package of three big pork ribs, cut the meat off of the bone, and throw in the sauce when directed without cooking.

Sausages: Use 1 package of hot sausages and 1 package of regular italian sausages. Stab sausages with a fork and throw them in the oven at 350 degrees in a pan with a little olive oil until just about done. Remove sausages, cut in half and place on a paper towel. Cut up into pieces when they've cooled down a bit.

Part 2: The Sauce!

Cover the bottom of a pot with olive oil, and add 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (depending on how much you like). When you see the garlic start to turn a little on the yellow side and bubble around the little pieces, take the pot off the heat and add the three cans of tomato paste. Stir in with the oil and garlic. When you see the oil come up through the paste and start to boil, add 3 cans of water (use the three tomato paste cans) and let that simmer for a while.

Then add tomatoes, 1 can of Italian tomato sauce, and 2 cans of crushed Italian tomatoes (all big cans). Simmer for a while, then add the chicken wings and pork rib meat right away. Add the sausage and meatballs when ready. Add salt and pepper, dry parsley, and any other seasonings you like. Add enough sugar to cover the palm of your hand.

Cover the pot and cook for 4-5 hours stirring every 20-30 minutes (can only do this on low heat). If you can’t get the heat low enough then you need to stir constantly. The longer you cook the better it will taste! Alma Pro Tip: to cook over the lowest heat possible, try setting one burner grate on top of another to raise the pot further from the heat.

A Note from Alma

I did not steal the recipe! It was given to me by a lovely Italian lady. Right around Christmastime, we were going to have a little Christmas party, and we were each bringing something in. She brought in some sauce, and I said, "Oh my God, this is the best sauce I ever tasted!" And I said, "Please, please, give me your recipe," and she said, "Ok!" So she gave it to me and I started making it. Everybody loved it!

Arthur's Favorite: Chili

Arthur's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 4 cans red kidney beans
  • 3 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups white rice

DIRECTIONS

Brown ground beef with chopped bell pepper and onion in medium saucepot. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

A Note from Alma

Arthur loved the chili, and he used to sneak and put more hot sauce in it. He kept saying, “It’s not hot enough.” Well it’s hot enough for us! Every time we had it, it was like, jeez this is spicy. When the other kids said, “Why’s it so hot?” Well, I don’t know! He makes the chili now and it’s absolutely delicious.

Bob's Favorite: American Chop Suey

Bob's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 3 cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 lb elbow noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

In a large pot cook the bacon until halfway cooked. Then add hamburger, onions, bell pepper, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is thoroughly cooked. Next, add in the canned tomatoes and crush them by hand in the pot. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add in the elbow macaroni. Once cooked, drain the macaroni and add it to the meat mixture.

A Note from Alma

This is a hard one because everybody loves the chop suey. Actually, I’m making it today. I don’t know for who. I’ll have to eat it myself! I made it a couple of weeks ago, and Bob came to pick up something, he said, “What’s that smell?” I said, “Guess, Bob.” So he said, “Can I have some?” I said, “Yeah.” “Well, can I take some home?” I said, “Yes!” If he knew I was making it today, he’d be over later to get some.

Debbie's Favorite: Ma's Mac & Cheese

Debbie's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb government cheese
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. After it’s melted, pour in the milk and whisk slowly until it thickens. Add the cheese slices a few at a time and whisk until they melt into the sauce. Stir the cheese sauce and noodles together, and season to taste.

A Note from Alma

Debbie loved it, and I made it with the welfare cheese. She’d just kind of hoard it for herself. She’d always put a little aside for her. Even after she was married I would call her and tell her when I was making it! And she’d say, “Well I’m on my way home, I’m going to stop by,” and I’d say, “OK.”

Donnie's Favorite: Fried Chicken Wings

Donnie's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons onion salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil, to fry

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, mix milk and eggs. In a ziploc bag, combine flour, garlic salt, onion salt, and salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the milk and egg mixture, then place them in the flour mixture. Give the bag a good shake. In a skillet, heat vegetable oil. Place chicken in the heated oil and cook until a golden brown.

A Note from Alma

Yeah, those were his favorite. And we were lucky if we got any! If you were two minutes late coming in, forget it. That food was gone! That’s why I liked them all there at the same time. Again, we all like all these recipes, but they had their favorites. And this definitely was his favorite. And I liked it because it’s easy! Although I had to cook an awful lot of them. I can’t even imagine how many of them I had to cook. A lot!

Jimbo's Favorite: Clam/Corn Chowder

Jimbo's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cans cream-style corn
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 lbs chopped clams
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 whole potatoes, diced
  • Tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Bring to a boil chopped onions and potatoes until potatoes are fork tender. Remove the onions and potatoes from the water and dice the potatoes. In a pot, bring three cups of milk to a boil and add diced potatoes, chopped onions, and season with salt and pepper. Add butter. Stir in clams and cream-style corn. Cook until heated through.

A Note from Alma

At first I just started out making corn chowder. I don’t know who it was that was at my house, she put… I forget what she put in it… something else, and I said, “I never thought of putting anything else in it.” And I said, “I’m going to try those little clams in the container.” So that’s what I did. And it’s delicious! We like it. And now you can buy it in the stores and stuff. Then you couldn’t, but you can now. And it’s really good. And Jimbo would be sure he wasn’t late for dinner when we were having that.

Mark's Favorite: Lasagna

Mark's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb box of lasagna noodles
  • 2 quarts of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package 6 cheese Italian blend cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 jar tomato sauce

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, package of cheese blend, eggs and parsley. To assemble, in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, evenly spread 3/4 cup of sauce. Cover with three uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree over for 45 minutes.

A Note from Alma

Yeah, he’s a pain in the neck. Making the lasagna is a lot – a lot – of work. Really, a lot of work. And every time he’s coming, “Uh, you think you could just throw some of that lasagna together?” I said, “Oh yeah, no problem.” And then he says, “Oh, I’m going to have a friend with me,” and he has six friends. And that isn’t even the worst! He was supposed to come Saturday night and, I don’t know what happened, he couldn’t come. He calls me Sunday morning, “Mom, do you think if I come over in about two hours, I can have that lasagna now?” I said, “Are you serious?” He said, “Yes.” He was going golfing. I said, “Yeah, ok.” He said, “Well, I’m going to bring my friend.” “Yeah, fine.” Well, there was about six of them. It was like 10:30 in the morning and we’re all sitting here eating lasagna. I’m like, give me a break!

Michelle's Favorite: Chicken Soup

Michelle's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • Whole cooked chicken
  • 3 boxes chicken stock
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes

DIRECTIONS

Put the chicken, carrots, celery and onion in a large soup pot and cover with chicken stock. Heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken meat falls off of the bones. Take everything out of the pot. Strain the broth. Pick the meat off of the bones and chop the carrots, celery and onion. Season the broth with celery salt, garlic salt and parsley flakes. Return the chicken, carrots, celery and onion to the pot, stir together, and serve.

A Note from Alma

She loved chicken soup. Absolutely loved it. She’d be down in the refrigerator at night getting herself some more chicken soup. It’s just amazing, though. Years ago I didn’t probably understand what that meant, comfort food. You know? But now I do. And it’s true. I am making the American Chop Suey and I’m the only one here right now! I will be eating it and I’ll probably freeze some of it…

Paul's Favorite: English Muffin Pizza

Paul's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package split English Muffins
  • Large can tomato sauce
  • 1 package Italian blend cheese
  • Toppings: peppers, onion, salami and mushroooms

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Place the English Muffin halves cut side up on to a baking sheet. Spoon some sauce onto each one. Top with cheese and toppings. Bake for ten minutes in the preheated oven or until the cheese is melted and browned on the edges.

A Note from Alma

That was one of my favorite things. It was so easy, and so inexpensive. Then again, I had to make a lot of them, because they’d be eating six each of them. Even I would eat four or five of them because they’re small. But they were good, and so easy to make.

Tracy's Favorite: Shepard's Pie

Tracy's Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cans cream-style corn
  • 1 box instant mashed potatoes

DIRECTIONS

Place beef in a large skillet and cook over medium to high heat. Add onions and stir, let simmer for about five minutes. Prepare the instant mashed potatoes. Spoon meat into a baking dish. Next, layer the cream-corn over the meat. Last, add the mashed potatoes over the creamed corn. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and the top is lightly browned.

A Note from Alma

She still loves it. Now she makes it!

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