This recipe for Family Style Sunday Spaghetti Sauce is SO easy, hearty, and delicious. It really is perfect for everything. It’s savory and bright with San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, and simple seasonings. The Italian sausage brings a thick and hearty consistency that covers your pasta dish, veggies, and adds a substantial layer to your lasagnas.
Easy homemade spaghetti sauce ready to use in as little as 60 minutes.
This family recipe is published with permission from Janet Alcorn & her sister Kathy DiRanna. It originates with Kathy’s mother-in-law, Lilly.
When I tried their spaghetti sauce, I immediately asked for the recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it’s a very special sauce, a recipe from the heart if you will. Kathy is a heart transplant recipient and obviously a fantastic cook. I was lucky they agreed to share it with me, and now all of you!
What makes this Easy Spaghetti Sauce so good?
- It’s hearty and family-style with a less is more approach to let the quality ingredients shine bright.
- The spaghetti sauce is ready pretty quickly, as far as homemade sauces go. Once it’s assembled, just simmer until you need it. Ideally, I let this simmer for an hour to 90 minutes but I’ve used it in as little as 30 minutes and it’s just as delicious.
- We love that it’s an all-purpose recipe so it can be used with just about anything. Pasta, Pizzas, Parmesans, Lasagnas, Raviolis…you name it.
- This sauce freezes beautifully so prepping a larger batch is time-saving in the end. Use some and freeze the rest. Perfect!
- And, finally, the sauce is versatile. It calls for Italian sausage but if you wanted to go classic veggie, just leave out the meat and use mushrooms, onion, and zucchini instead. Or, toss it all in!
We use Johnsonville. It has complimentary seasonings that marry really well with the rest of the ingredients and it brings a consistency that I’ve come to depend on. Johnsonville offers different products but I always choose one Mild Italian Sausage and one Spicy. Using a 50/50 mix is my family’s favorite blend.
San Marzanos. We grow bushels of tomatoes that we specifically use for sauce making, also called “paste tomatoes”. San Marzano has few seeds, thick tomato consistency, and huge flavor.
Cento Products. If I need to purchase canned, then I’m looking for Cento. They offer exceptionally high-quality San Marzano whole tomatoes, sauce, and tomato paste.
This post is not sponsored, believe it or not. All opinions are my own. Please use whatever products are your favorites!
I’ll include a few of Janet’s tips below, a demo video, then jump to the recipe and make it yourself!
If you can find San Marzano canned whole tomatoes, those are preferred. Break them up a bit either before or just after adding to the sauce. You can do this with a spoon, or a potato masher, or just squeeze them with your hand.
Use your favorite Italian sausage. You can also use 1lb of sausage and 1lb of 80/20 hamburger meat, instead.
You might notice the sauce doesn’t technically call for onions, but feel free to add 1 large finely chopped onion (about 1 cup), browning it in the olive oil in the first step. The sauce is fantastic with or without onions, so if you have people who aren’t fans of onions, this sauce will work great!
Depending on the size of the garlic cloves, you’ll need 6-8. Enough for 2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic.
The parmesan rind isn’t necessary, but if you have one available, definitely add it in.
If you like your sauce with a bit of heat, feel free to add red pepper flakes to taste.
I hope you enjoy there recipe and love it as much as we do. The dishes you see are Restaurant Style Eggplant Parmesan and also Kale Stuffed Shells with Whipped Herb Ricotta. Recipes coming up in the next 2 weeks so please check back!
See how easy this spaghetti sauce is.
Easy Family Style Sunday Spaghetti Sauce: Perfect On Everything!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced about 2 heaping Tbsp
- 2 lb Johnsonville Italian Sausage See notes below
- 2 28 oz cans Cento Whole Tomatoes San Marzano if possible
- 1 15 oz can Cento Tomato Sauce
- 3/4 can rinsed tomato water from the tomato sauce can
- 1 6 oz can Cento Tomato Paste
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp oregano dried
- 1 Parmesan rind optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- To a large 5 quart pot add the olive oil and heat on medium-medium high until shimmering.
- If using onions (see note below) add them here and cook on medium for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and soft.
- Add the garlic, bloom for a few seconds.
- Add the Italian sausage, using your spoon to break up the meat. Cook until browned. It doesn't have to be thoroughly cooked through, it will finish cooking in the sauce.Dab away or drain excess oil.
- Add the 2 cans of whole tomatoes, using your spoon to mash the tomato a bit to break it up.
- Add the tomato sauce, then fill the empty can 3/4 full with water, stirring to get the remaining sauce combined with the water, then add this to the pot.
- Add the tomato paste and stir.
- Add the sugar and oregano. Cook on medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble. Then turn it to low.
- If using the parmesan rind, add it now and let the sauce simmer.Stir often, scraping the bottom of the pot, then allowing it to simmer on low, ideally for 1-2 hours to develop more flavor. Can be used after 30 minutes of simmering if you're short on time.
- Taste for seasoning, adding salt & pepper if needed, and removing the parmesan rind if used.
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