Italian Red Sauce

This is the recipe I use to make red sauce for pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, etc. One thing I like about this recipe is that it is from scratch using fresh ingredients. The only exception to fresh is the use of canned tomatoes, which as I have mentioned in other posts, is actually fresher (from harvest), better tasting, and ready for use (peeled) than tomatoes from the produce department. For the herbs, I give you both fresh and dry quantities, since often times fresh herbs may not be available. This sauce take some time, but is not difficult. I provide a meat sauce recipe, if you want meatless, just leave that portion off.


  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage – ground
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion – diced small
  • 2 stalks of celery – chopped fine
  • 1 green bell pepper – chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves – pressed then minced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms – sliced or diced
  • 3 oz. Italian parsley – chopped, including stems
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 24 oz. tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 14 oz. beef broth
  • 8 oz. red wine – Italian of course
  • 2 TBL granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 TBL fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 TBL fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 TBL fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Mise en Place – gather and prepare your ingredients before starting.
  2. In a heavy pan or Dutch oven (with lid), set heat to med and toss in meat. Stir the ground meat breaking it up into small chunks. Continue until meat is fully cooked.
  3. Drain grease then add olive oil.
  4. Once the oil is warmed, add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook 1 minute.
  6. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, sugar, parsley, all the spices, and the bay leaves. Stir well until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  7. Bring sauce to a brief boil, then cover the pot with a lid and lower heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.


Comments are closed.