October 01, 2013

Homemade Pasta Sauce

I grew up as a spoiled child.  I never had pasta sauce from a jar until I moved out on my own.  I knew the whole "jarred pasta sauce" was only temporary until I master making my mom's homemade sauce.  

On a side note, I use this sauce as a reference to show how far I've come in the cooking world.  There was a time when my mom slaved over this sauce for hours, only to have it ruined by me because I overheated it and burned it!  I've been using this recipe for homemade sauce for about a year now, without any problems.

If you're wondering what I'm eating this pasta sauce over, it's spaghetti squash!  If you haven't tried it, I suggest giving it a try since fall is here and it's squash and pumpkin season.  It makes a great alternative to pasta and easily takes the flavor to any seasoning that is added to it.  Keep in mind that it will be a little crunchy, but tasty in its own way.

Homemade Pasta Sauce

  • 1 105 oz. can tomato puree

  • 3-4 14 oz. cans of either diced tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce *

  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste

  • 6 oz. of water

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1-2 garlic cloves; minced

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 T salt

  • 1/2 t pepper

  • 1/4 t baking soda

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/4 t fennel

  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes

  • 4 large stalks of fresh basil

  • 4 large stalks of fresh oregano

  • Optional: cooked turkey meatballs or hot sausage

* Depending on how you prefer your sauce, choose tomatoes accordingly

  1. Heat a large pot with olive oil 
  2. Sauté the onion until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes 
  3. Add the garlic cloves and sauté until fragrant; about 2-3 minutes 
  4. Add the tomato puree, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water 
  5. Adjust the amount of sugar to add based on how acidic the tomato mixture is (add more sugar to reduce the acidic level) 
  6. Add the salt, pepper, and baking soda 
  7. If adding meatballs or sausage, add it now 
  8. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce it to a simmer and let cook for anywhere between 1-4 hours 
  9. After the sauce has had time to simmer, add the bay leaves, fennel, red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano; adjust seasonings for personal preference 
  10. Allow the sauce to cook for another 30 minutes before serving

Spaghetti Squash
Makes 3-5 cups (depending on the size)
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • Coconut oil cooking spray
  1. Cut the squash in half and scoop out all of the seeds
  2. Spray the inside of the squash with cooking spray and sprinkle on the Italian seasoning
  3. Place the squash halves, cut side down, into a small baking dish
  4. Fill the baking dish about 1/4 of the way up the squash with water
  5. Cover the baking dish with saran wrap
  6. Microwave the squash for about 12-15 minutes
  7. Remove from the microwave and allow to cool for several minutes
  8. Take a fork and scrap out the inside flesh of the squash
  9. Serve with pasta sauce and meatballs
Note: Instead of microwaving the squash, you can bake it at 375 degrees F for about 1 hour and then use a fork to separate the "spaghetti" strands.  I prefer the microwave method because it's much more time efficient.

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