I love this sauce, and it has a special place in my heart. I feel that this sauce was a springboard to my love of cooking and learning how to taste and adjust flavors while cooking. When I was 14 and Mom would let me try to make the sauce on my own, I felt so grown up. My mom was patient and helped me learn how to taste and adjust, adding more sugar if the sauce was acidic or more basil if it needed more seasoning. She perfected this spaghetti sauce. It’s a little sweet, and it’s got so much more flavor than most pasta sauces. Even Olive Garden is disappointing after we’ve had such a nice sauce. Of course like most recipes that use dried spices, the flavor gets stronger as it sits.
We use this spaghetti sauce for so many Italian dishes, like your standard spaghetti, lasagna, and manicotti. We just leave out the Italian sausage pieces for the lasagna and manicotti. Growing up, Mom would always use a jar of homemade, home-jarred pureed tomatoes and add some tomato paste to thicken it. But nowadays we usually make it with a jar of commercial pasta sauce and add extra stuff, but you can make it using a jar of unflavored tomato sauce also. So you might as well get the cheap sauce if you’re going to be doctoring it up anyway.
And luckily this one is naturally gluten free, as long as you choose a gluten free sauce (which most are).
Flavorful and great to use in several Italian dishes.
- 1 lb. extra lean Hamburger
- 1 Onion, minced
- 1 heaping tsp. Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp. Sweet Basil Leaf
- 1 qt. homemade Tomato Sauce, 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes, or jar of pasta sauce
- 1 (6 oz.) can Tomato Paste (optional, to make thicker)
- 2-2 ½ tsp. Salt (to taste)
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1-2 pkg. Mild Italian Sausage (optional), sliced
Brown hamburger and add onion and garlic to cook. Add a little salt and pepper, then mix in Italian seasoning and basil. Add sauce, tomato paste, salt, and sugar. Check for flavor and adjust seasonings as needed.
For Italian sausage, slice each sausage in about 5 pieces and boil in a separate pot for 5 minutes. Drain and add to sauce.