Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Easy Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

My grandparents are Italian. We had pasta and homemade sauce all of the time when I was a kid. I was very spoiled to have sauce that was literally made with love, and the taste proved it! Mom and Pop would schedule a day during the week to make a "batch" of the sauce. They usually made it together, and it would be an all day event. All fresh ingredients, simmering on the stove for hours, and then portioned into containers to 1) be used for dinner,2) be distributed to my mom and aunt & uncle  or 3) to be put in the freezer for use later.

I would consider myself a sauce snob! (Funny I know)  I am not a fan of jar/store bought spaghetti sauce. My grandparents, who are now in their 80's still made their sauce, but not nearly as much as I wish that they did, and every once in a while I get a batch sent to me.

My grandmother gave me her recipe, and I feel soo lucky to have it. (And I'm not sharing it, it's a secret family recipe) However, it takes time..I I need to literally plan to spend a half of a day to make the sauce. And, unfortunately, its not feasible to make it on a regular basis for me.

In conversation with my sister in law recently, I was telling her about my dislike for jar/store bought sauces, and she shared with me a recipe that she found online.Thanks Donna!!!

The following recipe is from America's Test Kitchen.

-It's inexpensive to make

- It only takes about 20 minutes to make

- It taste really good

- You can tweak it to add additional ingredients to suit your taste.

- You can freeze it and it still taste great when it is reheated!

The recipe is called "QUICK TOMATO SAUCE"


This recipe make 3 cups which is enough for 1 lb of pasta.
 (If you are like me, and like sauce, I would double the recipe..that's what I did!)

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup (one medium) grated onion (I put mine in a food processor, I don't like chunks of onions, so  if I can't see them, I'll eat them!)
2 medium garlic cloves (minced or pressed in garlic press) GET the Garlic Press from Pampered Chef!!
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (Recipe suggests using Tuttorosso or good quality brand tomatoes)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin olive Oil
Ground Black Pepper

(I add Freshly grated Romano and Parm Cheeses, and I use more Sugar then the above calls for)

Heat butter in a medium saucepan until melted.

Add onion oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown
Add garlic and cook until fragrant (hmmm..garlic and onion are already fragrant right?)30 seconds

Add tomato and sugar Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Then lower heat to medium-low and let simmer until sauce begins to thicken..about 10 minutes. Take off heat, add in basil and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

I add the cheeses prior to taking it off of the stove and I add  more sugar while still on the heat. (I'm a rebel!)

I also like to add pork or small pieces of chicken to my sauce

To serve, I scoop sauce on the plate, top with pasta, then add more sauce to top, and garnish with fresh parsley and more shredded cheese.

(Are you hungry??? look at that stove top, sauce is splattered everywhere)

I couldn't wait to eat it, I had to test it by dipping fresh Italian bread in the pan..YUMMM!!

Very quick, and good recipe!!

Try it, and let me know what you think!!


  1. So your family calls it sauce not gravy? Ive had Italian friends call it gravy.

  2. I think your recipe is very similar to mine. Thanks for sharing.

    Entered you in the cookbook drawing. :)

  3. Wow... so simple... looks delicious...!!