This Spaghetti Sauce recipe comes from childhood neighbors, who are Italian. I can remember my mom making this sauce. I loved watching mom stir this over the course of an afternoon, as it simmered slowly, the wondrous smell filling our home. One whiff today transports me right back to the old neighborhood. The ground beef mom was able to get back then was fattier than what I use so she also had to skim the fat off the sauce. A process I happily get to forgo.
This is the only spaghetti sauce I make and it always gets raves. It is the only sauce The Patriarch really likes. I usually make a huge batch without any meat and then can it. In fact I usually make it without any meat. IF we have meat with our spaghetti I usually serve meatballs. Just an aside here, I make a huge batch of meatballs (yeah, huge for our small family anyway – 5 pounds of ground beef), completely cook them, cool them off and then put them into family sized portions (in their own bags) and then freeze them. I am then able to make spaghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, sweet & sour meatballs, etc WITHOUT any fuss! Here’s my ‘ol family REAL Italian Spaghetti Sauce recipe!!
I think the ‘secret’ for this spaghetti sauce is in the very slow, low heat cooking that releases the sugars from the tomatoes without burning them and to blend the flavors. Burned tomatoes in a sauce will ruin an entire batch and as far as I know… there isn’t any way to eliminate ‘that scorched tomato taste’ from your sauce. A ‘quick’ sauce will always taste ‘raw’ & unfinished.
Mrs. R’s Real Italian Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 pound ground beef (optional)
1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped or dehydrated bell pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped (I use a sweet or white variety)
1 32-ounce can tomatoes
1 32-ounce can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 toe garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sweet basil
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Romano cheese
1 cup chicken broth
Brown meat well. Add onions, green pepper and cook until onions are translucent. Add all the rest of the ingredients and cook 2 hours on simmer. Watch it carefully so it does not burn!
To make this 100% dairy free, just leave out the Romano cheese. This small amount doesn’t bother me, so I leave it in.
If I am making this sauce without the meat, I sauté the vegetables in coconut oil, but only a small amount. You don’t want any extra oil in your sauce! The sugar is essential to cut the acid from the tomatoes. It is also essential to not burn the sauce!! I cook mine on as low a setting as possible and cook it longer if necessary. You want to cook it until it thickens up. And, believe it or not, it always tastes better the next day anyway! I do not can my sauce with the meat, because that would require pressure canning and just the act of pressure canning the cooked sauce would over cook it and burn it. Yuck. Don’t ask me how I know this!! lol I am not sure why exactly, but there is not another sauce on the market that tastes quite like this one. Not overly seasoned, but smells and tastes like Italy!! YUM!!
Notes: I never, ever, ever, ever use dehydrated garlic, garlic powder or the like. Ick and double ick! It has an after taste reminiscent of brass doorknobs… NOT a pleasant flavor in your foods. Use only FRESH! It does make a difference. If you want to toast your garlic (LIGHTLY!!) add it to the vegetables, but after they are done and stir quickly. You would also need to add everything else to the pot quickly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Another horrible smell and taste. You can also add sliced mushrooms to the onions for the spaghetti sauce when you are sauteing them. We like our mushrooms… and I would add 8 ounces of sliced.
Did I happen to mention not to use dehydrated garlic?? And not to burn the garlic?? And not to burn the tomatoes?? All these cautions… I think in our hurried, got-to-have-it-now society is why a really good spaghetti sauce is not made from scratch more often. It takes s-l-o-w, very low heat cooking. Is it really different? YES!! Take the time and taste this for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
Blessings, ~Mrs. R
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Recipe is copyright of Honey From Flinty Rocks & Mrs. R. Feel free to post or share while giving credit & link back to this post at Honey From Flinty Rocks.