The BEST EVER Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Published on January 13, 2014 by Lauren

Growing up, we rarely used jarred tomato sauce because we always made our own homemade spaghetti sauce. Because I was young, I never thought anything of it. But when I had pasta at a friend's house and they used jarred sauce, I never liked it much. My dad was generally the one who always made our sauce; it was one of his favorite things to do on Sunday afternoons.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe was passed down from my Sicilian grandma. It has been used for generations and you can't mess it up! It is really easy and tastes SO much better than the store bought sauce. You can do this in a crockpot too – in fact it is one of our favorite dump recipes.

If you plan to can this sauce, omit the Parmesan cheese and add that when you warm up the sauce before eating. We often add ground beef or italian sausage to it as well (the one pictured has ground beef in it).  This just makes it that much better!

If you love this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, you will love some of our other Italian Recipes:

Dump Recipes

Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

Slow Cooker Meat Sauce

Slow Cooker Meat Sauce

Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Easy Alfredo Sauce Recipe

In fact, you can find many of these recipes in our ALDI Meal Plans, where we teach you how to make 20 meals for under $160 in under 3 hours!

NOTE: If using fresh tomatoes:

You can make this sauce with either cans of crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.  If using fresh tomatoes, you would need about 12-15 medium sized tomatoes.  There is definitely more work involved when using fresh tomatoes, but it is worth it!

First, you will need to get the skins off.  The easiest method for this is to score the skins with a sharp knife, and then boil them for about a minute and then place in cold water.You will want to do this in batches.

Once you the tomatoes have cooled, the skins should peel off relatively easily.  Then chop them up, and blend in a food processor.  You can control how chunky or smooth you want the sauce by how long you blend them for.

Once this step is done, follow the rest of the recipe using the tomatoes you just prepared as the crushed tomatoes. We hope you enjoy it!

Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
Here is my family spaghetti sauce recipe passed down from my grandmother in Italy - it is the best one you will ever cook - don't trust me - try it!
  • 3-4 cans of Crushed Tomatoes (either regular or with basil, oregano and garlic) 28 oz. sized cans OR 12-15 fresh tomatoes (peeled, chopped and blended in a food processor)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of dried basil (probably 3-5 Tbsp)
  • A bunch of black pepper ( probably 1 - 2 tsp)
  • 1 TBSP of Sugar (optional)
  • 2 TSBP olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
  • Minced Green Peppers (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a 5+ qt. pot over medium heat, and add the onion.
  2. Saute for 10 minutes or so, stirring often and being careful not to burn it.
  3. Add the chopped or pressed garlic.
  4. Heat for another one to two minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic, then add all the tomatoes, black pepper, basil and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often.
  6. For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered, then cover.
  7. Add the cheese, stir in and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
  8. This will make the equivalent to 4-5 jars of sauce, and the cost is probably about half (and it tastes way better).

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      • You don’t need to can it, but you can if you want to (no pun intended). You can keep it in the freezer in a container for awhile and by awhile I mean like a year. You’ll probably use it up by then. I’m half Italian and my mom (full Italian, R.I.P.) did this every week or two for a good 60 years or so, no problems whatsoever. Also I think it tastes better once it is frozen and thawed, believe it or not. Good luck!

      • My wife and I are proficient “canners”. When we “can” we do at least 40 cans of various tomato sauces, salsa or other vegetables. We do not can spaghetti sauce every season. But our batch of sauce is fine after sitting on a dark shelf in the cool basement for over a year. Same with our salsa or any of our pickled beets, corn relish, pickled mushrooms etc.

      • I tried this sauce last week. My family loved it, so easy to make. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Just made your sauce for my wife’s work pot luck tomorrow. So good so easy.. thank you… I added some wine.. to deepen the flavor. It’s going to be a hit with the Italian sausages and pasta.. thank you..

      • I just followed this recipe perfectly. I’m very disappointed in this sauce. It does not stick to the noodles at all. I used fresh tomatoes and everything else exactly. I’m confused how anyone would consider this to be a good pasta sauce. I was so looking forward to trying this but unfortunately not very impressed.

    • Just goes to show you that jerks lurk in all places. I have made this sauce, and think it is excellent. No processed foods, salts, preservatives added, 100% healthy

    • There must be 80 million grandmothers that live in Sicily. When it comes time to cook pasta and sauce, everyone has a family recipe handed down from there grandma, lol…

    • I’m Italian. My grandmother (Nonna) grew up in Northern Italy..and I agree with Rich. He did not sound angry to me..just truthful. I make my Nonna’s spaghetti sauce recipe. It takes me 2 days to make my homemade spaghetti sauce. And..I could definitely open an Italian restaurant with my sauce. I cannot give away all of my secrets but I will give away a few. I slow roast green & red peppers over an open flame..before they go in my sauce. I never use sugar..only a certain red wine for sweetening. And, if the tomatoes are tart..adding 2 fresh carrots cut into 2″ pieces will reduce the acid. I use tomato addition to diced tomatoes. I stew my diced tomatoes with my secret seasonings (one of them being a hint of mint). And, I brown my tomato paste slowly..until it is quite dark. I never use ground beef. My sauce always has homemade meatballs, hot Italian sausage, and any pieces of favorite pork to put in my sauce is whole pork hocks, or a large chunk of salt pork. If you use salt pork, you might not need any additional salt..but taste to be sure. Anyway, making spaghetti sauce has always been a major project in my family..and it’s well worth the effort. Does that sound any better Rich?

      • BUT….most of us don’t have 2 day to make sauce. This is a quick and easy alternative to store bought sauce and with a little love turns out amazing! And rich is a dick…this sauce is 1000 times better than anything you can buy in a store! Paired with my meatballs I could sale this anywhere!! And by the “the love” i added 4 extra cloves of garlic in the sauce ( not cooked with the onion ) and an extra heaping table spoon of sugar. Sweet is sweet it doesn’t matter if you get it from a sweet red wine or sugar. Excellent recipe!!

      • Thank you Sandyjeanie! Sounds so good I am going to steal your recipe and make it my own family tradition. Since you left some mystery in seasoning – I wondered if you ever use saffron?

      • what the name of the red wine you used? is it lambruso red ty I had a friend from the early 1970 and they put a sweet red wine in the sauce but i cannot remember maybe if you can help i would appericate it ty rose

      • I agree with Sandy and her sauce is the closest to my grandparents recipes. My dad is full blooded italian and honestly Sandy is the 1st blog I came across where they actually brown the tomato paste. My grandma always said that was they key to a good sauce. Also, both sides of my dads family cook their sauce slightly different. One side added sugar and the other didn’t, but their sauce was more spicy. Now I do not cook my sauce for 2 days, but it does cook all day.

      • My Nana grew up in Northern Italy too and were not taught that a simple sauce is best. In fact…reading how you make your sauce, you weren’t either! So how did you come to the conclusion that Rich was right when you you wrote a paragraph rebuking everything he said? I don’t know about your Nonna…but my Nana would throw the pan of sauce out in the sink if I made it “simple” with Rich’s ingredients!

    • You know, any good cook knows that making a good sauce means less than an hr of cooking time because it gets acid and will taste bitter. A great sauce is made with at least 15 ingredients and let sit over night to mature. This is just another “me too” sauce that will be bland and eat your stomach out.

    • There are as many tomato sauces as there are hairs on your head.,the quick sauce , just olive oil garlic and tomatoes simmers in 30 minutes to the Sunday Gravy which has pigs feet, , ribs, braciole, sausage and meatballs and cooks three hours. It would be good to share some techniques we have learned to help novice cooks.
      My mom used whole onions in all her soups and sauces. She didn’t like bits and pieces of onion floating in the sauce.It requires the longer cooking sauces . In her easy quick sauces she sauteed the garlic whole or chopped in oil then threw it away. . No bits of garlic either.The garlic infused oil was great.We never used virgin oil , it was too strongly flavored and over powered the dish.Meatballs were made with a panade , a mixture of four or five pieces of bread soaked in water or milk . It was thought to make lighter meatballs.Incidentally, I order my tomatoes ,called Six in One from California online .They are canned in the field and like Ed Giobbi said even the Italian imported tomatoes are not good anymore. These are darn good and inexpensive.

    • I’m making it now and so far I love it. Very fresh and clean tasting not over burdened with a lot of spices. Just what I was looking for . I can add my meats and meatballs if I want more flavor but I like starting with a good base that can stand alone if you don’t want to add meats.

    • I know this sauce is delicious ! Because this is the same as I’ve made it for 40years. I make it adding ground chuck and I also like basil in the sauce!! But other than that it’s the same…

      • The ! gallon freezer bags work great for me. I fill them each 1/3 to 1/2 full then fold out all of the extra air. Then I put them in a container after they cool off so they can freeze into thin bricks that stack nicely later. The thin configuration helps with faster defrosting later.

  • Mmm…that recipe sounds great! I bet that grated cheese really makes it. Hunts is one of my favorite brands and the only canned tomato sauce that I will use. I like to use it as a base for pizza sauce and enchilada sauce.

  • Delicious! I added 1 large sweet onion whole and a pack of boneless ribs and about 3/4 lb of ground beef. I cooked it in the slow cooker from 9-3, then transferred it to the pot to cook down and threw in a little tomato paste. The onion falls apart as it cooks. At 3, I took it out and chopped it tiny and put it back in. If you add in the whole onion and ribs, it gets this sweet taste like it has seafood in it. After I transferred it to the pot, I tasted it. It was a little tart so I added a little baking soda, let it sit a little and retasted it. Perfect.

      • Baking soda takes the acid out of the tomato’s. So if you know someone that gets heartburn after eating a tomato based meal try baking soda.

      • If you plan on canning your sauce you must add lemon juice or citric acid. To increase the acidity. And if you want to can your sauce never put Sodium Bicarbonate ( baking soda ) in it. You can kill people that way.

    • lemon juice is acid so it won’t take acid out, baking soda has base ph so it will neutralize acid. if you want to add a bit of sweetness without the sugar, place a whole peeled carrot in the pot, not only will it balance the acid in the tomatoes, but it will remove the canned taste if you are using tomatoes in a can.

  • I didn’t remove the seeds and regretted it. Looks like salsa. Lol. Next time I will remove the seeds. I also added tomato paste to help thicken the sauce.

    • Trey, there are recipe trolls on every post. Some do not understand that pork is not eaten by all.
      If you want to add pork or beef, add it but do not be critical.

    • There is nothing “authentic” about adding pork to “Italian sauce.” And by “Italian,” I believe that you mean ITALIAN AMERICAN, which is something different.

      When they arrived here, Italians used what they could afford, and often in much larger quantities than they ever had before. Every cook was, and is, different.

      • Absolutely correct every cook is different my uncle Dominick cook his sauce from scratch my grand mother use to make pasta noodles home made put both their receips together and and knock bones and home made Meat balls boy did we have a heck of a meal and don’t forget the salad we had so much food we had enough to feed an army or two

      • Lemmon juice ADDS Acidity!
        Baking soda removes Acidity!
        Kim below got it wrong.

        Do not use to much baking soda. This is not a cake!

    • Donna,

      My mother-in-law is authentic Italian, she always put in pork ribs and chicken backs into her “gravy”. She cooked it for 2 days.

  • […] Pasta sauce. You will never go back. Even though there are only two of us, I make a huge batch of this stuff and we eat like kings. Tastes amazing, costs very little, and you can doctor the recipe according to your tastes and nutritional preferences. I prefer mine meaty, but you could easily adapt this to vegetarian tastes. Try this recipe–I like to add about a quarter-pound of Italian sausage to it for even more meaty  zest. […]

  • I have had no problems freezing sauce with ground meat. I have also defrosted first as well as heat from frozen. Both methods work.

    • I do not understand how you could get 6 jars from this recipe. Recipe. Confusing It first says 3/4 crushed tomatoes then all. This looks good but no instructions on adding meat or sausage. There is no way this would be 6 jars. Did I miss something

      • 3-4 means 3 or 4 cans of tomatoes
        3/4 means three quarters of a can.
        Maybe that will help?

      • I really don’t see how it would make 6 jars either, unless they are very small jars. I made this to use with my Manicotti yesterday, I only used “half” of everything as it was my first time making it and didn’t know whether the family would like it and didn’t want extra. My Manicotti recipe called for a 26oz jar of sauce and I barely had enough. I would say this recipe would make maybe 2-3 average size jars (24-26oz) of sauce. Though I can see it making 6 jars of the smaller sauce jars, like 16-18 oz jars. Still yummy though!

    • Re. the homemade Italian spaghetti sauce recipe, and it being a favorite “dump-recipe”:
      How do the directions change when using the crockpot, as opposed to in the pan ,(which is how the website instructions read,)?
      Also, what meats (hamburger and/or sausage ? Pre-cooked or raw? Are ground chicken or turkey or turkey sausages possibilities ? ) and meat quantities are used for a batch of this size ?

      • In a crackpot recipe, you lightly brown the hamburger and sausage mix (with the Italian herbs in it) in a 2 -3 quart pan leave it partially red from cooking the lump of meat mix and break it up at at the bottom of the crackpot and then dump the rest of the sauce ingredients in and set the crokpot to go and over that time the meat will cook with the sauce. You brown it to envelope the flavors together and cook the meat a bit. It all finishes in the crockpot with the addition of other flavors and the final cooking of the sauce and meat.

    • Becoming a vegan at 64 years of age is a bit tough. But what is great is I found this wonderful simple sauce! I’m making it again for the third time. The only thing I add is majoram and when the pan is very hot while sauteing the onions and garlic, I add a little red wine. Thank you for the sauce recipe. I love it because I can adapt it to my palate!
      Happy New Year!

  • What tomatoes do you recommend? My garden was quite the jungle this year and I have about a bushel of San Marzano tomatoes and then a much smaller amount of beefsteak and heirloom.

  • I learned a similar recipe from my mother. Some things to try:

    My mother taught me to add three primary ingredients (holy trinity) chopped/minced garlic, chopped onion, and chopped pepper.) I wonder if the onion is a Scottish thing (mom was born and raised in Glasgow, but worked for five years for an Italian family restaurant).

    Like the recipe says, the key is creating a base by sauteing the first ingredients at a low to medium heat in olive oil.

    I use only San Marzano canned tomatoes from Italy… I was told by an Italian friend that they are less acidic… Unless I get some good fresh tomatoes of course.

    i also add fresh basil leaves, lightly chopped towards the end of the simmer.

    I think it is best to make the day before you serve.. that lets the flavors blend.

    I never measure the seasonings… I add a little at a time until it tastes “right”

    Start with the recipe and then make it your own 😉

      • That “holy trinity” is used in many cultures for a base for many sauces, soups & stews. Try watching real cooks on some cooking shows. That’s how I start all of mine, been
        Cooking for 60 years now, & still love getting new ideas from the pro’s.
        PS: also get a kick out of the ” Snotty ” remarks from some of you self righteous
        people out there, LOL!, K

  • When my husband and I visited Italy a few years back, we had the privilege of eating spaghetti cooked by our Italian chef friend that was out of this world delicious and was the exact recipe that Lauren’s grandmother passed down to her. It is not the thick pasty tomatoey glob that overpowers American spaghetti so you can’t taste anything else. You can call it gravy or whatever you please…I call it fantastic and tasteful. I am so glad Lauren shared her culinary treasure!!! Love, Love, Love it!!!!

    • I agree with you,call it what you wish so I will be making this gravy because I want to try something different.I will be serving it to my trashy husband who will call it good I am sure.

    • I have to agree .I love it too .Simple and clean tasting. I haven’t made sauce in a long time and actually forgot how much I put of what. It used to come naturally of knowing how much. I Just for forgot however I didn’t forget how to make my meatballs TG.Now that I’m older I was looking for something with less spices and fresher tasting. This fit the bill.

  • Thank you for this incredible recipe! I made this sauce for a spaghetti night with friends, and than used the remainder for a large batch of lasagna. Everyone raved about the flavor, and asked for the recipe. It’s incredibly delicious, and so easy to make. This URL is being bookmarked for eternity! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

  • Sounds great gonna try it Sunday My Sunday wouldent be complete without spaghetti dinner. But always used jar sauce So I want something more tastier How much ground beef or Italian sausage do you recommend for this recipe? One other thing is I read some negative posts about the recipe. That wasn’t nice when you took the time to share a family recipe Thank you.

  • Thanks for sharing! It’s somewhat similar to my grandmother’s sauce however with a few American twists, as she called it. She and my grandfather moved to the Brooklyn from Southern Italy in the 1950’s. The American twists in her sauce being oregano and onions, which she had added to her mother’s recipe.

  • My napoletan grandma added onion to the gravy my Sicilian grandma never did. I prefer without the onion never peppers. The basic recipe is the same brown the garlic in olive oil , add crushed tomatoes I like Cento , or tuttorosa or any imported from Italy they seem less watery, of course you can crush regular whole tomatoes as well. If you want meat sauce I add a few Italian and hot sausage, meatballs and porky ribs , sometimes a piece of steak, first add the tomatoes I use 4 or 5 cans to the lightly browned garlic stir let simmer 20 minutes, then add 20 oz can tomatoe sauce I like del monte or red pack stir add 2 tablespoons of sugar, salt, pepper, I use fresh basil leaves, stir let simmer 15 minutes then I add the meats you can just throw in they will cook in sauce, I used to brown meats first in tomatoe paste and garlic which adds more flavor , drain and then add to sauce need extra time for that. Let cook 3 to 4 hours on low stirring occasionally I always leave uncovered until last 45 minutes to thicken. This makes a lot so you always have leftover freeze in Tupperware .

  • Can’t wait to try. Am going to make a day ahead. and I will be adding meatballs towards the end. Been craving this!!

  • I have a quick question, how much green pepper should be added? Also, should it be added in the 2nd step along with all the other ingredients? Thank you very much in advance for your help!

  • Hi Lauren,

    I found your recipe on the Internet back in August of 2015 and have been using it ever since, best Spaghetti sauce recipe I’ve ever made or tasted. Of course I doctor it up but the base is your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • As an Italian restaurant owner for 50 years, spaghetti sauce is called sugo. Your receipt is pretty close to mine…simple and rich. The secret is in the humidity for the day. Longer if damp, but shorter and lower temp when dry, you can not rush flavor! Also sugo is better when it sets for a least 5 days (use stainless steel or glass). Freezing make is thick and rich.

  • Made this last night. Made a few changes (extra basil, sugar, onions, green pepper, mushrooms, chicken, and a little tomato paste to thicken). I love this recipe! Definitely my new go to recipe. Fed my husband and my neighbor. Both loved it.

  • Thanks, everybody — I always use ground beef (part sirloin) in spaghetti sauce. I brown it in a large pan and thereafter add everything else that’s going in the sauce. I don’t use onions, but just onion powder. (Somebody in my house doesn’t like “real” onions.) I generally use Tuttaroso canned sauce, but any other will do fine. Use lots of spices — your
    choice — and cook slowly, for at least an hour to blend everything. Delicious!

  • Very similar to recipe my Italian friends mother gave me years ago. She adds a splash of burgundy or other red wine. Adds Wow factor! I never use canned/jarred sauce. When hubby 1st tasted my home-made sauce he thought he had died and gone to Heaven! His mother, like mine, used a BOX mix! Ugh Ugh!! Always swore I would never use it, only home-made.

  • Similar to my family’s recipe (came from italy in 1900) – but is that a metal pot? Never use any reactive pan w/ anything w/ tomatoes (you will get a metallic taste!). Don’t cover w/ foil unless you make sure the foil does not touch the tomatoes or sauce (you will end up w/ foil melted into your recipe). Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • This is how I make mine and it keeps very well in the freezer. This gives me something to do with all my tomatoes from my garden and all the oregano and basil I have. I just stew them down all day and add everything else a couple hours before I think it is ‘saucy’ enough. …. and yes i cut my tomatoes in half and squeeze the seeds out.

  • my daughter and I made this and it was awful. it was watery though we followed your recipe to the letter. (we used tomatoes) we were hoping for a richer sauce with flavor, not so runny. we were very disappointed. Very.

      • If you follow the recipe with fresh tomatoes it does get really runny and watery. I figured out to add a can of tomato paste to it when you start it in the crock pot in the morning or when you add the tomatoes to the pot if you are cooking on the stove.

      • If you are using fresh tomatoes yuo have to use a very meaty tomato such as a Roma, seed and squeeze most of the juice out. Same if you are makng salsa or ketchup. Tomatoes are so full of water that you can’t use a regular canning tomato or garden tomatoefor a rich sauce. Don’t give up, this is really a very good recipe and I am very picky about my pasta sauce reccomendations

  • I have been making Italian sauces fior many years. Most of my recipes were learned from the mother of a dear friend while I was on an extended visit to Italia. This recipe reminds me so much of one herss and it was always one of my favorites. I did use a cup of dry red wine, fresh basil and fresh oregano. I use raw honey instead of sugar. I made this exactly by your recipe for my first batch and everyone thought it was great. I made the few changes just because it was what I was used to. One last note. Mama Tre would put two whole carrots iin the pot the last hour of cooking, she said it added to the sweetness and soaked up the tomato acid. I do tjis with many tomato dishes and they don’t seem to be as acidic. You toss the carrots by the way. Thank you for the lovely recipe, this saves many steps from Mama Tres original.

  • Just made your sauce tonight! So delicious!!!! Exactly what I was looking for. Simplicity at it’s best! My husband who is not a big fan of Spaghetti absolutely loved it!

  • Trying to copy the recipe but something is preventing me from doing it. If you had an email version you could send would be great, thank you.

  • I made this with Romano tomatoes from the garden. I blended them in my Vitamix, no need to peel. I also added a can of tomatoes paste to thicken it up. It turned out great!

  • I like the sounds of your recipe all the way through and I’m going to give it a try today the only thing I would add is it after the tomatoes are cooled before you peel off the skin hold them over the sink and give them one quick firm squeeze this shoots out all the extra water and 95% of the seeds.

      • HELP!!! I’m making the sauce now and I to find it rather water/runny.
        I realize I should have used roma (?) tomatoes? so… now that I’m almost through cooking the sauce – what can I do to rectify the runny/watery issue?
        I’m not a cook at all.. .I eat, believe me, but rushing home to turn on the stove has just never been my passion. I retired a week ago and my first task was to make home made spaghetti sauce… recipe looks great and I’m sure it will taste great but… what do I do now???? help. thank you

  • Just made this for my husband and me….it was awesome! Added 2 pounds of lean ground beef. Excellent sauce! Simple and yummy. We are having leftovers tomorrow, and I was able to put away enough sauce in the freezer for another meal or two. Thanks!

  • I never made sauce before and followed your recipe, added a little of my own touch and it came out amazing, thank you so much. I a very picky about sauce and most does give me heart burn from others this was perfect!

  • I’ve been looking for this recipe for several years. An older friend who grew up in Sicily told me how to make it a long time ago. Thought I’d remember with so few ingredients. Forgot before I had a chance to make it. Making it tonight. Thank you thank you. Can’t wait to try it.

  • This recipe is fantastic! I make mine without the sugar and cheese and it’s tastier than any sauce I’ve ever had. I use Muir Glen organic for the tomatoes in mine which adds even more flavor. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • I have used Hunts in the past and, well, not the best taste. So, I made this recipe with Cento San Marzano whole tomatoes that I pulsed in the blender for one second. I also address a 6 oz can of tomato paste. Turns out to be delicious!

    I did brown my meatballs in the pot first and left the oil/browned bits to start the sauce.

  • Hi Lauren, thanks for sharing your family’s recipe. It sounds delicious and I’m going to make a batch shortly! 🙂 One note–I’m sure you don’t want to make anyone sick, but it’s not safe to can just any recipe (even if you’ve been doing it for years with no problem). There are three sources of scientifically tested safe home canning recipes: the Ball and Bernardin companies (they make the canning jars) and the National Center for Home Food Preservation. If your recipe hasn’t been tested, it’s not considered safe to can (and all tested recipes that contain meat must be pressure-canned.) Canning creates the perfect conditions for growing botulinum bacteria, which create an odorless, colorless toxin that is extremely deadly. Just a couple of years ago, home-canned food killed one person and sent 23 to the hospital here in Ohio. Spaghetti sauce freezes beautifully (and I personally think it tastes fresher when frozen instead of canned anyway.) Thanks again for sharing your family lore.

  • Excellent recipe! Only “additions” I made was to use a whole onion (small) and a tablespoon of crushed red pepper. Oh and I had some meatballs and sausage links at the beginning. Would highly recommend this! Mmm mmm good!

  • Amazing sauce! My daughter took the small leftover to school the next day, which is a rare occasion and a high level of praise :D. I shifted dry basil with fresh and used some of the water from boiling the fresh tomatoes to make it a bit “thiner”, because I had to pick up a kid in the proces and had to make sure it didn´t burn. besides that i made some crispy bacon to drizzle on top and a spinach and fresh plum salad :)..The sauce tasted simple and amazing! Thank You for sharing!!!! 😀

  • I have the sauce cooking now . It seems very thick with another hour to go I am hoping that it will become more of a sauce not a glop of tomatoes I’m also going to add meatballs to it & may end up adding a little wine to smooth it out

  • Sicilian nana only used wine, ok, homemade Chianti, after dinner- FYI squeezed fresh tomatoes in her hand! What a great cook
    Her sister’s son is Jimmy Stolfe. CONNIE’s Pizza. MMM good Sunday dinners at Nana’ s. THANKYOU FOR THE RECIPE. But we left out one important ingredient! ALL THE LAUGHS AND HAPPY CHATTER. BEST PART OF SUNDAY DINNER BESIDES ANTI PASTA, PASTA, SALAD, DESERT, FRUIT AND CRACKING NUTS, AND, OH YAH, PLAYING CHEVHERS WITH UNCLE SAM, WHILE THE ADULTS CRANKED UP THE MUSIC…Right there and tben, we kids knew – there is no way we will be getting home to finish homework. BUT EBERYBODY WAS HAPPY BACK THEN.

  • I made your family recipe and my husband and I love loved it. I browned some pork neck bones and sweet Italian sausage with the onion and garlic .. I then added the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for three and a half hours. It was delicious.. Thank you so much for sharing

  • No oregano? I’m curious, what does oregano do to the sauce? I will be using THIS recipe when my fresh Roma’s come in this summer.

  • Hi, I read through your recipes today and they are exactly what I have been making for years. My recipe came from a Sicilian family also. My Alfredo recipe came from Marie Callender’s.Incorporating cream cheese into the sauce makes it perfect. I also add a TBL of cooking sherry. Thank you and I look forward to following you new recipes from now on!

  • Hi Lauren, this is very similar to a base sauce that is in our family for years. I like to call it your “Go To Sauce” something you can count on time and time again. Do you ever use San Marzano tomatoes?

  • I have to ask. Have you ever put 1 tablespoon of cream cheese in it? My great grandma had that same recipe with cream cheese added.

  • Curious. Was the omission of salt from this recipe intentional?

    Enjoyed everyone’s comments and their variations on the base recipe.

  • Lauren, The base sause is absolutely superb When I see no sugar required in the comment section I roll my eyes… a seasoned cook would know that the sugar neutralizes the acid in tomatoes.
    So many experts in the comment section. Lol….Cooking requires passion to do it well and years of experience to refine the process, but without common sense of basic cooking knowledge you do stupid stuff, like omitting the sugar out of the sauce.

  • Do i need to add anything to it for storing it in jars? This recipe is so easy and delicious. I froze the sauce with the meat but want to her it plain. Is that ok to do?

  • Jesus Christ, this thread. Someone posts their grandma’s recipe, and suddenly every asshole on the internet appears. Anyway, GREAT SAUCE. I love it. Thanks very much for posting it, Lauren.

  • Oh gosh this is the best sauce I have ever had. I have 7 kids and two of them don’t like spaghetti but can you believe I fixed this and every one of them had seconds. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I hope everyone just gives it a try. And oh i caned10 jars of it and I put it in a water bath for 20 min and it turned out so pretty. Now keeping all my kids from just eating it out of the jar with a spoon lol. Thanks so much.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I followed all the measurment except for the crushed tomatoes I only used one and half cans. I boiled the sause for like 20 min and then simmered it for a half hour. I added the olive oil at the end. It taste awesome thank you again. Ps I added some onion and garlic powder and a tad bit of oregano

  • I don’t know why anyone would complain about this recipe. I made it last night with fresh tomatoes and it was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Hi Lauren. I made this spaghetti sauce and it is the best!! I added ground beef and mild Italian sausage. As soon as it started cooking it smelled delicious! We had leftovers for the next day but it was all gone by noon. The family loved it! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been looking for the best spaghetti sauce recipe for years and here it is.

  • I am not fond of spaghetti or the sauce, but decided to try this one for the family. OMG it was so good that I even had a plate ofspaghetti. Am making a large batch for a family reunion and I know it will be a hit. Thank you and my compliments for sharing a great recipe.!

  • This recipe has the exact ingredients I use for my own sauce lol! I just prepare it a little differently than your recipe. But it is fabulous and I love it! I HAVE to make meatballs with it though because my youngest son, 25, says it’s not mamas without meatballs! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • I added a little salt, a little oregano because my puree didnt have any, and I added some red pepper flakes. Even without those red pepper flakes, I know this sauce is delicious. I will be making this again for sure. Very glad I chose this one on my pinterest search.

  • I’m from over the pond. Fleetwood UK. Am so looking forward to making it today. Am over eighty and have never made spaghetti sauce I’m. Ashamed to say! Have enjoyed all the comments ! Thankyou. Will let you know how I got on. Xx

  • I made this with fresh tomatoes. I simmered it for 2 days with hamburger and sweet mild sausage. Everyone loved it. I kept the rest for a few days and it was the best sauce.

  • Thanks for sharing. My mother always added a few bay leaves. I myself LOVE rosemary so I will be adding that in the recipe, maybe some fresh mushrooms also. Our local Italian mom and pops restaurant, who have pictures of their Italian family wedding pictures from the generations gracing their walls, uses soup bones to give it a good flavor, then takes them out.

    We are planning on making up a few different recipes to can enough sauce for the whole year! Thanks again for this basic recipe to start with!

  • What a RIOT, I have been having a great time reading most of all of the comments i wasn’t paying attention and it has been 2 1/2 hrs. Funny how things tend to stray off the subject at hand and into a totally different realm. Im not a great cook yet I am not a bad cook I am a good cook. always like to stroll and see what might be knew or different in a simple recipe. Love it…

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