You can buy jars of spaghetti sauce for convenience and some brands are pretty good, but nothing beats a long simmering batch that you make from scratch.
Here are over two dozen recipes that I’ve handpicked from around the ‘net, some are pretty basic while others promise to match the flavor of an Italian grandmother’s secret, homemade sauce.
I’ve separated them into three groups for easier browsing: Those that use fresh tomatoes (including canning versions), those that use canned and finally a selection of a few crockpot ideas that simmer all day. Lots here to choose from, enjoy!
From Scratch With Fresh Tomatoes:
- Freezer Version : (Yield 8 cups) Ingredients include diced basil leaves, pressed garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, Kosher salt, powdered ascorbic acid preserver (ie. Fruit Fresh) and freshly ground black pepper to taste. From Daily Herald.
- Garden Marina : (Yields 2 quarts) Made with extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, fresh basil leaves, chopped Italian leaf parsley, white sugar, salt and pepper. Transfer to freezer jars then freeze for up to 6 months. From Cats and Casseroles.
- Fresh Tomato : (Makes 4 cups) Ingredients include olive oil, small onion, small cloves of garlic, medium carrot, celery, salt and slivers of fresh basil to finish. From Smitten Kitchen.
- For Canning : Made with finely chopped onions, minced garlic, olive oil, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Processed in a steam bath canner. From The Farm Girl.
- With Italian Sausage : (Canning) Made with chunks of Italian sausage (first fried lightly), mushrooms, chopped onion, chopped bell peppers, chopped garlic, spicy Italian seasoning, oregano, cayenne pepper (optional) and seasoned salt to taste. From Creative Canning.
- Tangy : (canning) Made with chopped onions, green bell peppers, banana peppers, fresh sliced mushrooms, minced garlic, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, dried oregano, canning salt, dried basil, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, cumin. From My Crazy Life As A Farmer’s Wife.
- Home Canned : Made with butter, chopped onions, minced garlic cloves, chopped celery or green pepper, sliced mushrooms (optional), salt, black pepper, oregano flakes, minced parsley, brown sugar or unrefined cane sugar. From Common Sense Homesteading.
Using Canned Tomatoes:
- San Marzano : (Yields 12 cups) Made with olive oil, diced jumbo onion, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, tomato paste, dried parsley, dried bay leaves, dried oregano, dried basil, Kosher salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, fresh basil. From ButterYum.
- Bolognese : Ingredients include ground beef, ground pork, olive oil, diced onion, diced carrot, diced celery, garlic, red wine, beef broth, bay leaves, fresh thyme. Advises that the longer it simmers, the better it is (at least a couple of hours). From The Italian Dish.
- Bolognese : Ingredients include olive oil, finely chopped onions, finely chopped celery, finely chopped carrots, minced garlic, ground beef or turkey, dried thyme, dried parsley, fresh rosemary, salt, bay leaves, water, grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, extra dry vermouth, evaporated milk. Simmers uncovered for about 2 1/2 hours. From The Yuca Diaries.
- Easy Marinara : (Yields 4 servings) Ingredients include minced garlic cloves, salt, dried oregano, dried basil, extra virgin olive oil, sugar (optional), red pepper flakes (optional). From Keep It Simple Foods.
- With Ground Beef & Veggies : (can be frozen) Made with ground beef, onion, pepper, mushrooms (canned), garlic, basil, oregano and parsley. Recommends letting sit for a day before serving so the flavors can develop. From Carole Knits.
- Top Secret : Made with ground beef or turkey, olive oil, chopped green bell pepper, chopped garlic, chopped large white onion, fresh mushrooms, rosemary, oregano, basil, bay leaves, red wine, pepper, salt, Parmesan cheese and sugar (to taste). From Carolina Charm.
- From Scratch : Made with olive oil, finely chopped onion, finely chopped carrot, celery rib (with leaves), parsley, small garlic cloves, chopped basil, rosemary, sage or thyme, salt and pepper to taste. From Prairie Perch.
- Mai’s Italian Gravy : (includes meatball recipe) (Yields 2 quarts) Made with elephant garlic cloves, chopped onion, extra virgin olive oil, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, dried basil, fresh ground black pepper, sugar, fresh grated parmesan, beef broth, bay leaves. Simmers for about 2 hours. From Thru the Bugs on My Windshield.
- Staten Island Special : Made with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chopped white onion, crushed red pepper flakes, basil leaves, white wine, salt to taste, butter, sugar. Cooks for about 2 hours. From Daphne Oz at The Chew.
- The Best You’ll Ever Have : A quick and easy version, all you need is garlic cloves, sprinkle of salt and a bit of good quality olive oil. Fresh basil is added at the end and a dollop of fresh ricotta when served with the pasta. From A Cup of Jo.
- Ultimate : Made with sweet Italian sausage, roasted red bell peppers (jar), onion, garlic, carrots, red wine, sugar, unsalted butter, extra virgin olive oil, water, salt and pepper. From bell’alimento.
- Three Meats : Yield: 18 cups. Made with beef chuck roast (trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes), boneless pork shoulder butt roast (cubed), mild Italian sausage links (cut into slices), olive oil, onions, tomato sauce and paste, water, minced fresh parsley (or dried parsley flakes), fresh oregano (or dried), salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Can be frozen for up to 3 months. From Taste of Home.
- Alice Jo’s : (6 – 8 servings) Made with Italian seasoning, chopped garlic, Worcestershire, green bell pepper, chopped onion, ground beef, sugar, salt and water. From Paula Deen.
- Spicy Tuna : Ingredients include a small can of tuna, garlic, chopped onion, cayenne pepper, olive oil and chopped parsley (optional). From Chow.
- Zappa Family Version : Ingredients include salt and pepper, pork spareribs, neck bones or pork chops, beef chuck roast, blade steak or brisket, olive oil, chopped onions, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, dried red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, fresh parsley, pickled peperoncini. Simmers for 2 1/2 hours or more. From New York Times.
- Vodka Cream : Made with olive oil, finely chopped onion or shallots, salt, crushed red pepper or dried red chili (minced), garlic clove, vodka, vegetable or chicken broth, whipping cream, thinly sliced fresh basil. From 6 Bittersweets.
- Stamp-of-Approval : (Slow Cooker) Yields 3 quarts. Made with ground beef, bulk Italian sausage, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes (canned), tomato paste, water, sugar, Worcestershire, canola oil, minced fresh parsley, minced fresh basil (or dried), minced fresh oregano (or dried), bay leaves, rubbed sage, salt, dried marjoram, pepper. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. From Taste of Home.
- Meaty Italian (Slow Cooker) : Made with bulk Italian pork sausage or ground beef, large onions, sliced fresh mushrooms, finely chopped garlic, organic diced tomatoes (canned), tomato sauce and paste, dried basil leaves, dried oregano leaves, sugar, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes. Cooks on low heat for about 8 to 9 hours. From Betty Crocker.
- Slow Cooker : Made with olive oil, sliced fresh mushrooms, onion, garlic, organic tomato sauce and paste, diced tomatoes (undrained), sugar, dried basil leaves, dried oregano leaves, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Cooks on low for about 6 to 8 hours. From Betty Crocker.
- Italiano : Made with bulk Italian sausage or ground beef, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes (canned, undrained), mushroom stems and pieces (optional), tomato paste, bay leaf, snipped fresh oregano (or dried Italian seasoning), salt, ground black pepper, chopped sweet pepper. Cooks on low-heat for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat for 4 to 5 hours. From Better Homes And Gardens.