Fresh Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with a homemade spaghetti sauce and meatball dinner! Even your kids can help. Little hands love to roll and form meatballs and then gobble them up with a heaping plate of spaghetti!

Homemade sauce is so much more flavorful and fresh than store-bought jars of sauce. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom of five, I understand the necessity of store-bought brands when time is limited. This recipe is from my mama, who is an amazing cook. Every time we visit her, this recipe is in high demand. Throw a salad together, set the table, and enjoy a classic favorite.

Fresh Homemade Spaghetti Sauce


1⁄2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (3 ounces)

1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 ounces each)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped—this sauce is not the same without fresh basil!


  1. Sauté chopped onion, minced garlic, and all seasonings in the olive oil.
  2. Stir until onions are translucent and spices are fragrant (about 5-7 minutes).
  3. At this time, you can add partially cooked meatballs (do NOT add raw), or the frozen variety, to the sauce but then simmer for a FULL hour, stirring often. (See Brandi’s Meatball recipe below.)
    *If you would like to make a Ragu sauce with ground meat instead of meatballs, this is when you would add 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground Italian sausage to the pan. Cook thoroughly and do not drain before adding the sauce.
  4. Add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes.
  5. Add fresh basil leaves into the sauce and stir.
  6. Cover your pan with a lid to reduce splatter and cook until bubbly, then lower the heat to SIMMER for 30 minutes to an hour at low heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Taste for acidity—you can never tell with tomatoes—if it is too acidic, add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Sample and then modify according to the Italian mama chef you’ve always wanted to be! Be careful not to add too much sugar.
  8. Enjoy your FRESH Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with your choice of pasta.



Rae-Ellen Sanders
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