It’s taken years to create a delicious Favorite homemade spaghetti sauce we want to eat over and over again and it’s thanks to one secret ingredient.
After years of testing and testing recipes for homemade spaghetti sauce we finally have one that we want to shout from the rooftops. This easy spaghetti sauce was a great springboard but we wanted one that wasn’t just a quick recipe, but one that would simmer and bubble all day until it’s flavors were irresistible.
At the end of the post we will answer some commonly asked questions about our favorite homemade spaghetti sauce.
How to Make Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch
There are a few secrets to making a good spaghetti sauce. I believe the very first starts with the most important ingredient, the tomatoes. You’re going to want whole tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste which we will talk about later. Our local grocery store sells San Marzano tomatoes and if you have not canned your own, I highly suggest this brand as it truly does taste like a far superior tomato. If you can’t find them, try to watch for a good sale and buy the best canned tomatoes you can find. It’s worth it. I’ve linked to them so you can see what the can looks like.
We try to freeze or can tomato sauce as well during the summer but it is the same rule as above.
Fresh Herbs are also a great start and will create a more flavorful, fresh sauce, however a combination of fresh and dry or completely dry will be ok as long as follow this one step, bloom the herbs. Add the herbs while you’re sautéing things in the hot pan so that the flavors can really emerge thanks to the heat.
Parmesan Rind- Now we come to the secret ingredient we mentioned at the beginning of the post! Don’t you dare ever throw out that parmesan rind again. What is a parmesan rind? It’s the wide end of the parmesan wedge that is hard. Toss it into your sauce and let it simmer to really allow the cheese to seep into the sauce. It doesn’t taste cheesy, but boy does it taste wonderful. Even as leftovers sit in the fridge I allow that rind to be in there.
Time- A truly wonderful sauce needs time. I start mine in the morning and let it simmer all day. In fact, sometimes I make it a day ahead of time, let it sit in the fridge and then slowly bring it back to temperature the day of serving. Time is the only thing that can meld and fully bloom the flavors of the sauce.
Meat- You don’t need meat in a spaghetti sauce, but if you do use it I prefer to do half beef and half Italian sausage or all Italian sausage. These will really create more flavor in the sauce.
How Do You Thicken Spaghetti Sauce?
A watery spaghetti sauce is almost always caused by a lack of tomato paste.
Tomato paste will thicken the entire sauce without taking away from the tomato flavor.
In fact, it’s concentrated enough that it really gives that oomph of tomato you need.
How to Make Spaghetti Sauce in a Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
Spaghetti sauce is a great choice for your slow cooker. You can even start the meat in it but remember, it’s going to take longer to brown. Start on high heat and add the meat as well as veggies and herbs. Once browned, add your remaining ingredients and allow to simmer on the low setting all day, stirring occasionally.
Can You Freeze Spaghetti Sauce?
But that’s not all. This is also a spaghetti sauce you can freeze! Some ended up breaking down too much or becoming too acidic which we just were not at all fans of, but this sauce holds it’s own and dare we say gets better even in the freezer?
The best way to freeze spaghetti sauce is to let it cool completely and then seal it in a food saver bag. We aren’t getting paid to say this, but we truly do love our Food Saver. It’s been amazing to freeze even cooked meats and soups and have them taste perfectly fresh two months later when we reheat. We like to use the Rolls so we can cut the bag to whatever size we want, but the Premade Bags are great too.
How to Get Spaghetti Sauce Out of Your Clothes
Ok, ok this one isn’t about cooking but you may as well know the answer because it happens 8/10 times that you make spaghetti sauce, right?
1. Turn the stained shirt over and flush with cold water.
2. Pretreat the stain with a blob or packed on laundry detergent, not stain remover.
3. Rinse well.
4. Gently sponge the stain with white vinegar.
5. Rinse well again.
6. Repeat steps again and again to get rid of as much of the stain as possible.
7. Pretreat the stain with a prewash stain remover.
8. Wash the garment after 30 minutes.
9. If the stain remains, rub with a liquid laundry detergent, and then soak in warm water for up to 30 minutes.
10. Wash again.
Other Italian Sauce Recipes
Looking for more Italian Sauce recipes? Who doesn’t love Italian sauces!? Make sure you try these out the next time you are making that Italian dish:
- Authentic Italian Bolognese Sauce
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Pizza Sauce
- Classic Pesto
- Garden Veggie Marinara Sauce
- Easy Beef Ragu
- Cilantro Pesto
Here are a few more yummy saucy pasta dishes that our family loves:
Favorite Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Favorite Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 4 Large Tomatoes or 6 Small
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Diced Onion
- 1/3 Cup Minced Baby Bella Mushrooms
- 1/2 Cup Minced Red Bell Peppers
- 1 Pound Mild Italian Sausage
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley chopped or 2 Tablespoons Dried
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary chopped or 1/2 Teaspoon Dried
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil chopped or 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried
- 1 Teaspoon Oregano fresh or 1/2 Teaspoon Dried
- 1 28 ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes
- 30 ounces Tomato Sauce * see note about 2 cans
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt plus more to taste
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 of a Rind from a Parmesan Cheese Wedge
- Heat an oven to 400 degrees and drizzle a little oil on a cookie sheet.
- Slice the tomatoes in half and toss in the oil on the pan.
- Add the garlic, in it's skins and toss in the oil.
- Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the tomatoes are wilted.
- Press the garlic out of their papers, mince and set everything aside.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil.
- Add the onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic and stir with a wooden spoon until the onions begin to turn translucent.
- Add the Italian sausage and break it up a little.
- As the meat browns, occasionally go back to the pan every minute or so and continue to break up the meat.
- Add the herbs and stir again to combine, allowing to cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.
- Stir to combine and sprinkle with kosher salt evenly over the sauce.
- Add the bay leaf, balsamic vinegar and parmesan rind.
- Stir to combine and allow to simmer for 3 hours or all day.
- Before serving, remove the bay leaf.
- We let the parmesan stay in until we've eaten all of the sauce, even with the leftovers in the fridge.
Don’t have all day to simmer a sauce on the stove and prep fresh herbs? No problem, throw everything in a pot and heat and serve!