Spaghetti Sauce

We’ve been making our own spaghetti sauce for a while, but had never written it down (even though we kept saying we would), which led to us sometimes getting off track and making it not-quite-as-good-as-last-time and unsure where we had gone wrong. This time, I finally wrote it down, including all adjustments (hence the sort of odd measurements), and it was really good! Here’s what I wound up with:

TSC’s Spaghetti Sauce


  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • no tomato paste! we find that even a *little* makes things bitter and nasty.
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (I’m sure white is fine too)
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbs + 1tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 sea salt + 1/4 tsp.
  • chopped up tomato (optional, but tasty)
  • chopped roasted or sauteed red bell pepper (we happened to have this pre-made, roasted and diced and everything, and i really recommend it, but it is not at all necessary of course)
  • 2 tbs. + 2 tsp. grated parmesan (I confess to using Kraft most of the time, in sauces, even though it is not at all real parmesan, just like kraft american cheese is not real cheese)
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (optional)

Directions: The directions are simply to heat the tomato sauce on a stove and toss in all the other ingredients, cooking and stirring and tasting and adjusting as you go. 

This is assuming you’re using powderized forms of everything (onion, oregano, etc.) Of course, if you use the real deal, like onions and fresh herbs, you’d have to adjust the amounts quite drastically, to taste. Normally we do at least a mix… For example, if I had had more time, I easily could have put real garlic and real onion in there, instead of or in addition to the powder stuff. Oh, and add red wine, if you have a bottle open!

The purpose of this recipe isn’t so much to give exact amounts as it to show that when you’re cooking a batch of spaghetti sauce and want to add some garlic flavor, or onion or whatever, this does not mean “a few shakes”Unless you’re dealing with super-hot pepper (or, in some situations, salt), a few shakes is pointless. You will not be able to taste that. Be braver! Sure, towards the very end you can get cautious and shake, taste, shake, taste, but be generous with the stuff at the beginning, and save those mini-adjustments for later.

Here (above) is what the sauce looked like on spaghetti (along with some chunks of some tasty spicy sausage, that I cut into bits and fried up in a pan). Below is a photo of the same meal topped with parmesan. Enjoy!


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