This Homemade Sunday Spaghetti Sauce is THE BEST Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce Recipe, from a secret family recipe!
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The BEST homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce
I have mentioned before that Nick is Italian, and that’s a huge reason why we eat so many Italian themed meals with pasta in our house. Having a few family members that need special elements in each meal can sometimes be challenging, but I have found unique ways to meet their nutritional needs with some family favorite meals. I make a “Secret Recipe” Homemade Sunday Sauce (Spaghetti Sauce) that I use as the base for several meals. Some people just call this spaghetti sauce or marinara, but when Nick’s dad lived with us many years ago, he said his family always called it Sunday Sauce (because they prepared it every Sunday for the big family meal). It is by far The BEST homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce I’ve ever had, and the vast majority of friends and family I’ve made it for agree 🙂
This recipe makes a huge sauce pot, so there is extra that I can freeze. Some of you know me well and know how far out I have my menu plan on my Google Calendar, and it makes it easy to work recipes using this sauce into rotation about once a week. Today, I am going to finally reveal the “Secret Recipe” as I pair it with some Barilla PLUS Angel Hair Pasta for Sunday Spaghetti Sauce. Please don’t be deterred by the length of the cooking time. All the work is done in the first 10-15 minutes, then for the additional four hours, it’s just simmering away, with a quick stir periodically. It is actually a really EASY homemade spaghetti sauce recipe!
I start by making a trip to Stop & Shop Grocery Store to stock up on ingredients. I like using the PLUS (yellow box) Barilla Pastas whenever possible because it adds needed protein, ALA Omega 3, and extra fiber. For this recipe, I’m featuring the PLUS Angel Hair Pasta.
When I’m ready to prepare the meal, I start by browning 1 pound of lean ground beef with 1 pound of Maple Flavored Breakfast Sausage in a skillet. You could use Italian Sausage also, but this is one of the minor changes I made to the recipe to make it my own. It gives it a unique flavor. I chop up an onion and add it to the meat mixture. Cook it until the meat is completely done and the onions are clear. Then, add it to your sauce pot.
Now, pour in 2 large cans of Tomato Sauce, 2 small cans of Tomato Paste (I prefer the kind with Basil, Oregano, and Garlic already in it), and minced garlic. If you want a larger batch, just add additional cans of tomato sauce and paste, or feel free to add a jar of Barilla Marinara Sauce to bulk it up. Next, I add my spices. This part is a little tricky because I don’t measure them out, I just pour until it “looks” right. I’ll add more later if needed. Since I was planning to share the recipe, I measured today, and it’s about 1 tablespoon of each. This simmers for about 4 hours on low, so you can taste a spoonful and decide if it’s just right for you as it’s simmering, or if one or more spices need some extra help. Be sure to give it a good stir every 20 minutes or so, to avoid it burning on the bottom, using a good wooden spoon. I just set the timer on the microwave so I don’t forget.
Now, the final secret is how I sneak vegetables into the sauce. We have picky eaters and a son on the Autism Spectrum with texture issues. There are certain vegetables he just won’t eat. So, when I make batches of “Sunday Sauce” I add some veggies, such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, etc into the blender and puree them. I add them to the sauce and no one but me knows they are in there. Everyone gets extra servings of vegetables and the stronger spices in the sauce disguise any “yucky” flavor kids think vegetables might have.
Finally, I store the leftover sauce in freezer safe containers. This makes it so easy to use again. The day before I plan to use it, I move the container from the freezer to the fridge to unthaw overnight. The next afternoon, I pour the sauce into a smaller sauce pot on low and allow it to re-heat. When it’s dinnertime, I simply prepare a box of Barilla pasta, top it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a slice of garlic toast, and dinner is served!
If you enjoy canning, you may can this also, it can be a homemade canned spaghetti sauce recipe. Just make it like normal, allow it to cool, and then follow your normal canning procedures. Later, when you need to use it, you won’t need to buy canned spaghetti sauce, you’ll have homemade canned spaghetti sauce in your pantry!
I hope you enjoy serving this Homemade Spaghetti Sauce to your family and friends as much as I do!
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb maple flavored breakfast sausage
- 2 29 oz cans of tomato sauce
- 2 6 oz cans of tomato paste ( I prefer the Basil, Garlic, and Oregano flavored)
- 1 med onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tbsp cilantro
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- *may need to add more of each spice, depending on taste preference. Start taste testing at the 1 hr mark)
- Can also add a jar of Barilla Marinara Sauce. If you want to make a larger batch of sauce, just add a can of tomato sauce and a can of tomato paste, then increase spices as preferred.
- Brown meat and sausage, and add diced onions until meat is browned and onions are clear.
- Combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, and all seasonings/spices in a large saucepot on the stove.
- Start the heat on medium until it bubbles, and reduce heat to low/medium low. Keep covered, except when stirring.
- About every 30 minutes, I remove the lid and stir, to prevent burning/sticking to my sauce pot. I usually let it simmer on low for about 4 hours.
- When the sauce is ready, I start boiling my water to make the PLUS Angel Hair Pasta.
- While waiting for the water to boil, I butter some Italian Bread, and sprinkle garlic salt on top. I bake it in the oven while the pasta is boiling, so they're ready to serve at the same time.
- When I plate the spaghetti, I add some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese on top, then serve!
Be sure to try making these Homemade Meatballs to serve with this Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe, and save some to use with Meatball Sliders, too!
These are a few items I find helpful in my own kitchen when preparing this Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe:
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass CoverCalphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Sauce Pot, 5-quart, BlackChef Craft, 5-Quart, Deep Colander, White, 11 by 5 inchCuisipro 13-Inch Silicone Pasta Tongs, RedOXO Good Grips Nylon Spaghetti ServerCorelle Livingware 20-Ounce Salad/Pasta Bowl, Winter Frost White (6) by World KitchenBarilla Protein Plus Angel Hair Pasta 14.5 Ounce – 2 Pack
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Since Barilla Pasta has so generously sponsored this post, and I’ve used their products for years anyway, I thought I’d take a moment to mention the different varieties of pasta they offer. They do have the traditional line (Classic Blue Box) of pasta’s in an assortment of shapes and sizes, but they also offer Whole Grain, PLUS, Veggie, White Fiber, Tortellini & Tortelloni, Gluten Free Pastas, and Sauce (also Gluten Free). Additionally, they also have some delicious pasta recipes on their website, if you’re looking for some to add to your menu rotation.
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