• Fri. May 24th, 2024

🍝 Great Grandma’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Bynewsmagzines

Apr 22, 2023
Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce 4.jpg

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I wanted to share my Great-Grandma’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with you today.  It’s my favorite & I hope it is your new favorite, too.  Serve it over noodles (or even zucchini noodles), and add a side of garlic bread. YUM! Don’t forget to complete your meal with a sweet peach cobbler or cherry dump Cake!

This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe uses ingredients you probably already have at home. Plus, your house will smell fantastic when the sauce is simmering on your stove. 🍝 Enjoy!

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce   4.jpg

Great-Grandma’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

When I was a little girl, living in Pennsylvania with my mom, dad, and my brother, I remember many dinners at my Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpap’s house.  We always had spaghetti with homemade sauce.

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce

We would get into the car and drive 45 minutes to my great grandparent’s house.  They lived in the same brick row house their entire lives.  It was the first house that they bought together and the last house that they lived in together. 

I can remember walking up the stairs to the front door and seeing them rocking away in their chairs on their front porch, waiting for us.  On colder days, I’d look through the front door to see my great-grandfather sitting in his chair by the door, watching TV with the closed-captioning on, while my great-grandma was in her tiny white kitchen, cooking dinner.

Through the kitchen, there was a door that led to the backyard.   Her backyard gave way to a hill that led to what seemed like hundreds of stone stairs (see them on the far right in the picture below).

Those stone stairs led to the train tracks.  I always loved that “adventure” of running up those stairs with my brother, excited to see what would be at the top.

(Her house is pictured below: far right).

House next to A path with trees on the side of a house

My grandmother wasn’t Italian, in fact, she was 100% Irish, but she married an Italian man.  They lived with my great-grandfather’s Italian-speaking family for several years after they were married, as they were both young.   My great-grandma was just 15 years old when she married him.   

While my great-grandpap would go to work with his father during the day, my great-grandma would stay home with his mother and sisters to learn how to take care of the house, cook, and clean.    Her Italian mother-in-law taught her how to prepare and cook the most delicious Italian dishes that she was taught by her family in Italy, before moving to America.   

My great-grandma caught onto cooking quickly and was proud to tell everyone that she could “Cook better than any Italian woman” and she was right… her dinners were fantastic.     

Her sauce was the best, and I still make it today. 

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce

As a busy mom, I often make quick meals, but sometimes I want to create those meals that “feel” like home. I want our kids to walk inside and smell the smells that remind them that Mom is cooking dinner because she loves them.

I want to have those recipes that I can pass onto them when they start cooking their meals. I want to create those recipes where the kids help and learn how to make them, too.

While these kinds of meals might take a little longer to make, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve to save time. 🙂  

Time-Saving Tip 1: If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, or you don’t like to mince it, you can use jarred minced garlic.

Time-Saving Tip 2: If you’d rather use canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes, it still turns out well. That’s what I will do for today’s recipe.
I haven’t found a great ‘canned’ or frozen onion alternative, so I just chop fresh onions up as usual. 🙂

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce

This recipe will only take you an hour.  While an hour might be a little longer than the time that it takes to prepare everyday dishes, it’s worth it for this one.  Trust me!

Great Grandma’s Sauce INGREDIENTS:

Great-Grandma's Home-Made Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 chopped small onion
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 (12 ounces) can of Tomato Paste.
  • 2 (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes (one can is petite diced, one can is regular diced)  Or you can use fresh tomatoes.
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (for browning the meat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: If you want it to be spicy, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Optional: grated parmesan to be sprinkled on as a topping

FAQ: How to make homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes:

If you would rather use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes, remember that one 28-ounce can of tomatoes equals about 10 to 12 whole tomatoes, peeled. For this recipe, you will need 20-24 whole tomatoes, peeled, if you want to replace the canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes.

To avoid spending 20 minutes cutting up tomatoes, just toss them into a food processor (after washing them). Oh- You can chop up your onion and garlic in the food processor, as well. It will save you some time!

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce

How to make homemade spaghetti sauce:

How do you make homemade spaghetti sauce? It’s so easy! Just follow these steps!

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce
  • In aa large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 T. olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the meat & Italian sausage and cook until browned.
    Tip: Break the meat up as you stir it. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the heat to drain the grease, then return to heat & continue…
  • Add chopped onions to the meat mixture and continue cooking. Stir occasionally until onions are softened.
  • Add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce.
  • Mix in the spices, brown sugar, and garlic. (My husband likes to add in a teaspoon or so of garlic powder & italian seasoning when he makes it.)
  • Once your sauce is cooking (bring to a boil), add your wine and water.
  • Simmer on low (stir often) for an hour.
  • Optional: Let it simmer an additonal 3-4 hours, just to let the flavors combine even more.

Time Saving Tip #3: If you don’t want to continue stirring and checking on your sauce, you can move the entire recipe into the slow cooker if you aren’t going to be home to watch the sauce. 🙂

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Step by Step Instructions

First, you will heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot, brown the meat and the Italian sausage together (break it up as you stir it).  You can even use plant-based meat.

Add onions to the meat mixture and continue cooking. Stir occasionally until onions are softened.

Next, pour in the tomato cans (two cans of diced tomatoes), the tomato paste, and the tomato sauce.   

Once it is mixed, stir in your spices, sugar, and garlic.

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce

When the sauce has started boiling, add your wine and water.   Simmer on low (stir often) for an hour.  

If you want to cook the sauce a little longer, that works, too!

Sometimes I’ll let it simmer for 3 hours or so.

homemade spaghetti sauce

How to thicken homemade spaghetti sauce

The easiest way to thicken your sauce is to continue to let it simmer. The sauce will naturally thicken as it cooks. Simmer the sauce, on low heat, for an extra 5-20 minutes. Continue to stir the sauce & check on it often to prevent burning.

If you DO NOT WANT it to be too thick, just add another 1/2 cup of water. This will prevent it from becoming too thick. Again, keep an eye on it while it’s cooking to prevent it from burning.  

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce

You can use this sauce on pasta, in lasagna, and in so many other Italian recipes! No matter how you eat it, it’s delicious.

Tip: For a little extra color (and flavor), I like to add a little fresh basil to the sauce.

 homemade spaghetti sauce

You can also use it as a dipping sauce for your favorite kind of bread.  That’s what my mom and her siblings used to do when they were children – they’d take a slice of bread & dip it into the marinara sauce while it was cooking.    I’ve even used it as pizza sauce instead of the store-bought kind!

You can even jar or can the sauce for later!

How to can homemade spaghetti sauce

  • Pour the homemade spaghetti sauce, while hot, into hot pint or quart jars, leaving about 1 inch of headspace (this is important!)
  • Adjust the bands & lids to fit.
  • Process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure (1 hour for Pints, 1 hour, 15 minutes for Quarts)
Great Grandma's Homemade Sauce in a jar

It’s really the best sauce… even our picky eaters love it! 🙂

For dessert, try serving up our favorite easy peach cobbler. You’ll have a meal that everyone will love!

Recipe for Great Grandmas Homemade Italian Sauce 4.jpg

Great Grandma’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Yield:
a lot!

Prep Time:
1 hour

Cook Time:
1 hour

Additional Time:
3 hours

Total Time:
5 hours

My great-grandma’s recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce is the best! It uses ingredients you probably already have at home! Plus- your house will smell fantastic when the sauce is simmering on your stove!  

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 chopped small onion
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 (12 ounces) can of Hunt’s Tomato Paste.
  • 2 (28 ounces) can Hunt’s diced tomatoes (one can is petite diced, one can is regular diced) Or you can use fresh tomatoes.
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Hunt’s tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat Olive Oil in large pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat.
  2. Brown meat and Italian sausage in the hot oil (break it up as you stir it.  Once browned, remove from heat, drain the grease, and then return to the heat.
  3. Add chopped onions to the meat mixture and continue cooking. Stir occasionally until onions are softened.
  4. Next, add your diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce.
  5. Next, mix in the spices, sugar, and garlic.
  6. Once your sauce is cooking (bring to a boil), add your wine and water.
  7. Simmer on low (stir often) for an hour.
  8. Optional: Let it simmer for an additional 3-4 hours, just to let the flavors combine even more.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size: 8

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 340Total Fat: 22ggCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 1495mgProtein: 20g

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