Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jo Mama's Spaghetti Sauce

I have my favorite meatball recipe, but was still on the hunt for a good spaghetti sauce to accompany it. After taking recommendations from friends and scouring on the interwebz, I think I have finally found "the one". I wanted a simple marinara sauce (no meat since we always have meatballs to go with it), but  a recipe that was still rich in flavor but not overpowering.

With over 1,000 positive reviews, I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. Since making this, I haven't looked back. Or at another spaghetti sauce recipe.

I am not going to lie- this sauce has a long simmering time. The recommended simmer time is 2-3 hours, but I ended up cooking mine for 3.5 hours just because I had the time this afternoon. Tomatoes are acidic, so you really want to simmer it for awhile to get that acidic "talking back to you" taste out from the sauce. I did use 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper, and it added just the right amount of "kick" to this sauce.

What you are left with is a rich, medium-thick consistency of sauce with a great end result. Next time, I will double the sauce so I can keep one jar in the freezer.

  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (6-oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (15-oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water (for a long period of simmering for flavors to meld. If you don't want to simmer it as long, add less)
  • 3 tsp dried basil (used Italian seasoning)
  • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1-1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (used garlic salt)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes  (used ½ tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine (a good Cabernet or Merlot!)
  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese 
  1. In large, heavy stockpot, brown the onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
  2. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.
  3. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Stir well and barely bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in red wine. Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour. A longer simmer makes for a better sauce, just be careful not to let it burn! (I simmered mine for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30-45 minutes.)
  5. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  6. Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 
Yield: 32-oz (4 cups) spaghetti sauce

Adapted from


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