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!
- Sauté chopped onion, minced garlic, and all seasonings in the olive oil.
- Stir until onions are translucent and spices are fragrant (about 5-7 minutes).
- 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.
- Add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes.
- Add fresh basil leaves into the sauce and stir.
- 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.
- 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.
- Enjoy your FRESH Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with your choice of pasta.