How Is Spaghetti Sauce Made

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How To Defrost Meat Sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

There are a few ways to defrost meat sauce. Once it is fully thawed, reheat over medium heat just until hot and simmering.

  • Quick-thaw method: Place the sealed bag of meat sauce in a bowl under cold water until thawed.
  • Slow-thaw method: Place the frozen meat sauce in the refrigerator overnight.
  • For a camping trip: place packaged frozen meat sauce in a cooler with ice and let it thaw as in a refrigerator overnight.

Olive Oil Is Essential For Flavor And Texture

We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here though. Before you can add your tomatoes to the pot, you have to start with oil. Oil serves a number of different functions in a sauce. First and foremost, it’s a flavor transfer medium. By sautéing aromatics like garlic in oil you break down its cell structure, releasing flavorful compounds, many of which are fat-soluble. These fat soluble compounds then work their way throughout the sauce.

Oil also allows you to cook at higher temperatures and is less volatile than, say, water. Many chemical reactions that create flavor don’t occur under the 212°F boiling point of water. Oil is an edible medium which can be heated well above this temperature. Finally, fat adds flavor and texture of its own. Some folks will tell you that you should never cook with extra-virgin olive oil, as it ruins its flavor. Poppycock!

Yes it’s true that some of its flavors will break down. But then again, a neutral oil like canola or vegetable has pretty much zero flavor to begin with. You do the math. Or let me just do it for you: A Lot > Some > None. Sauces made with good olive oil will have noticeably better flavor than those made with neutral oil. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to drizzle some fresh olive oil in at the end as well.

Good olive oil does run the risk of burning and turning acrid if you heat it too much, and particularly when using sediment-heavy olive oils. When making a sauce like this, though, you’re never at risk of the oil smoking .

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Ingredients For Spaghetti Sauce With Ground Meat

If youre looking for a basic meat-free sauce, be sure to check out my homemade Marinara Sauce recipe. Its incredible. If youre a carnivore like me, proceed with this scrumptious recipe and be prepared to fall in love.

Heres the basic list of ingredients youll need in order to make this quick and easy Spaghetti Sauce. As always, you can find the full list of ingredients located in the recipe card below

  • Italian Sausage try a spicy sausage for even more flavor
  • Onion
  • Italian Seasoningtry my homemade blend!
  • Sugarjust a little to cut the acidity of the tomatoes

Spaghetti Sauce Marinara Sauce And Pizza Sauce Whats The Difference

A Simple Spaghetti Sauce

The main difference between the 3 of these sauces is the spices used and the cooking method.

Spaghetti/Pasta sauce is a slow simmer sauce that has a few herbs like basil involved. This is usually a thicker sauce, and you usually add meats and peppers to it. This would never go over a pizza.

The marinara sauce is usually a quick-cooking sauce that only cooks for an hour or less. has a sweeter, deeper flavor. This can be used over pasta or even over pizza.

Pizza sauce is an uncooked tomato sauce. Pizza sauce is typically made with tomato pasta or thicker tomato sauce. It uses different spices from spaghetti sauce, featuring oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, onion powder, and sugar.

Other Italian Recipes

If you love this homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, you will love some of our other Italian recipes:

  • Heat the olive oil in a 5+ qt. pot over medium heat, and add the onion.
  • Saute for 10 minutes or so, stirring often and being careful not to burn it.
  • Add the chopped or pressed garlic.
  • Heat for another one to two minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic, then add all the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, basil, and sugar. Stirring often, bring to a low boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often.
  • For the first half of the simmer time, do so with the pot uncovered, then cover.
  • Add the cheese, stir in and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so.
  • This will make the equivalent of 4-5 jars of sauce, and the cost is probably about half .

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More Easy Pasta Recipes

This Easy Baked Spaghetti combines a simple tomato meat sauce, spaghetti, cheese, and a creamy pesto layer.

Our readers have said that our Meaty Lasagna Recipe is the best theyve ever made. We combine beef, sausage, and a homemade sauce.

This Easy Fettuccine Alfredo features a silky smooth sauce made with butter and parmesan cheese, cooked sausage, and lightly wilted spinach.

For a lighter take on spaghetti, try our Fresh Veggie Spaghetti. The sauce is simple, vegetarian, and made 100% from scratch.

Do You Need Sugar In Spaghetti Sauce

Sure, youll need a ton of sugar in a spaghetti sauce which uses horribly acidic, poor quality tomatoes. Will this make it taste good? Absolutely not not to mention that we really dont need added sugar to our savory dishes.

So save the sugar for baking, and use good quality tomatoes for that sauce! I usually use Mutti passata for my everyday sauce. However, the very best tomatoes are labeled Pomodoro San Marzano dellAgro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP . These tomatoes are the best of the best!

If you want to test your own canned tomatoes, its easy: just dip your finger into them when you open the can and taste. Did you pucker? Make a sour face? Theyre acidic, and no good as theyre going to ruin your sauce. Try it with the tomatoes Ive recommended and youll understand what Im talking about. You can eat them raw without making a sour face! These are needed in order to make good pizza sauce, too.

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Which Herbs Add The Most Flavor To Tomato Sauce

The question of herbs is always a divisive one. Fresh or dried? Parsley? Oregano? Basil?

I tried a number of iterations using fresh and dried versions of each in various combinations. I ended up settling on a mix of dried oregano and fresh basil leaves and stems.

As it turns out, some herbs are better dried than others. Basil and parsley both taste terrible in their dried formslike papery, bland shadows of themselves. Oregano, on the other hand, fares just fine. The flavor is a little different from fresh oregano, but it’s intense and herbal in its own way, and for my money, is an indispensable element of a good Italian-American red sauce.

Why the discrepancy between the herbs? The difference mainly comes down to how the particular herbs grow. Basil and parsley both have thin, delicate leaves and grow in environments where there is plentiful water and little chance of the leaves completely drying out. Heartier herbs from drier climateslike oregano, marjoram, or rosemaryon the other hand, are far more robust. As a consequence, the aromatic compounds within those herbs also tend to be less volatile so that the plants can retain them even as they lose moisture to the atmosphere.

The end result, as far as we cooks are concerned, is that those heartier herbs from drier places can hold onto their flavor far better when dried than tender leafy herbs.

Serious Eats

Serious Eats

How To Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Using Fresh Tomatoes:

How to Make Quick Spaghetti Sauce | Pasta Recipes |

If using fresh tomatoes, you would need about 12-15 medium-sized tomatoes.

There is definitely more work involved when using fresh tomatoes, but it is worth it. Especially if your tomatoes are fresh off the vine from your own garden.

Here is how:

  • Take the skins off. The easiest method for this is to score the skins with a sharp knife, and then boil them for about a minute and then place them in cold water. This is easiest if you do this in batches.
  • Peel the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have cooled, the skins should peel off relatively easily.
  • Chop the tomatoes and blend in a food processor. You can control how chunky or smooth you want the sauce by how long you blend them.
  • Once this step is done, follow the rest of the recipe using the tomatoes you just prepared replacing the crushed tomatoes.
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    Serve The Sauce On The Spaghetti

    If you want to use a colander, reserve some pasta water. Otherwise, use a pasta fork to take the pasta directly from the pot and place into the sauce . Just remember, the spaghetti goes into the sauce, not the other way around. You can have it over very low heat to keep the pasta super hot .

    Mix well. If the pasta soaks up the sauce and seems too dry, add a little pasta water.

    Add sauce until the pasta is completely coated.

    There are two ways to serve spaghetti: twirled , or simply placed as is, into a bowl .

    To serve restaurant style, use a large fork, or tongs to twirl the pasta inside a ladle.

    Then simply place onto the bowl, or plate.

    Top with a sprig of basil, and serve!

    Family-style or homestyle, is easier: just place the spaghetti into a plate or bowl.

    You can still add that sprig of basil.

    However, either way, a good grating of Parmigiano Reggiano, or Pecorino Romano is an added bonus!

    Follow These Steps To Make This Sauce With Meat:

  • Heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Add in your ground meat and cook over medium heat, tossing regularly, until fully browned. Drain the meat and transfer to a plate for now.
  • In the same braiser or pot, saute the onions, garlic and carrots for 5 minutes in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add the cooked ground meat back to the pot, and toss to combine.
  • Add the tomatoes, water, and season per recipe. Bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat down and let the sauce simmer for about 20 more minutes. Check occasionally and add a bit of water , if you need to.
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    Easy Homemade Marinara Sauce

    Homemade Marinara Sauce doesnt get any easier! This requires just a handful of ingredients and 20 minutes on the stove for a memorable Italian Marinara. Everyone needs a great pasta sauce in their recipe collection and this one is a keeper.

    This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

    Faq About Spaghetti Sauce

    Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

    Can spaghetti sauce be frozen?

    Store spaghetti sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If there are visible signs of mold, discard the sauce. To extend the shelf life, freeze it! Allow the sauce to cool completely and pour it into an airtight container or freezer bag. Place in the freezer for up to 4 months. When you are ready to use the sauce, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw completely. Pour it into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes before serving.

    Are spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce the same?

    Pizza sauce is typically made using tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings and is cooked briefly on the stovetop. Spaghetti sauce is made using additional ingredients such as onions, bay leaves and crushed tomatoes and simmers for a couple hours to help enhance the flavor.

    Can spaghetti sauce be used for pizza?

    Spaghetti sauce sauce can be used in place of pizza sauce in a pinch. First, run the sauce through a strainer to get rid of excess liquid. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon each of fennel seed and Italian seasoning.

    Is spaghetti sauce gluten free?

    Most spaghetti sauce recipes are gluten-free. When looking for gluten-free store-bought varieties, check the label for ingredients that contain wheat.

    Does spaghetti sauce go bad?

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    Can I Substitute Fresh Tomatoes

    Fresh tomatoes would essentially have to be turned into crushed tomatoes with the added steps of blanching and peeling the tomatoes then simmering them down to the correct consistency which will really increase the time for making homemade marinara.

    If youre looking for a marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes, make sure to check out our Mushroom Mariana Sauce.

    How Do You Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

    Its simple! Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil, add a couple tablespoons of tomato sauce and heat it up for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes.

    Add the dried spices: oregano, thyme, bay leaf, a tablespoon of sugar, and red pepper flakes.

    Stir well and simmer for at least one hour, but up to three hours. Just before serving, remove the bay leaf, and stir in a little butter, and some fresh basil and parsley.

    Serve over your favorite pasta with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Buon appetito!

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    How To Make Million Dollar Spaghetti:

    Make the Sauce: In a large skillet cook and crumble the ground beef and Italian sausage and season with salt and pepper. Remove most of the grease. Add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onion is translucent. Add all but ½ cup marinara sauce , to the mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.

    Prep the Noodles: Boil a package of spaghetti noodles, drain the water, and toss them in a bowl with some butter and a little marinara sauce.

    Make Cheese Layer: Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese in a bowl.

    AssembleCasserole: Pour half the noodles into a 9×13 pan. Smooth cheese layer on top. Add remaining noodles. Then, layer the meat sauce.

    Top with Cheese, andBake: Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese over top and bake at 350 degrees F until cheese is melted and bubbly. I love it when the cheese on the edges get golden. Yum!

    Reheating And Storage Tips

    How to Make SPAGHETTI with TOMATO SAUCE Like an Italian (Spaghetti al Pomodoro)

    Leftover spaghetti sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Store in a resealable container. Reheat gently in a saucepan on the stove when ready to serve.

    Homemade spaghetti sauce is a meal preppers dream. You can make a big batch of this sauce when you have extra time and freeze it in freezer containers indefinitely. Preferably, you should allow time for it to thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

    Or, make a big batch of sauce on Saturday or Sunday, and plan meals around it for the rest of the week. Its perfect for more than spaghetti and meatballs. Use it for this easy skillet lasagna, pizza stuffed spaghetti squash, rustic polenta stack, or pizza quesadillas, or as a dipping sauce for air fryer mozzarella sticks or chicken strips.

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    How To Thicken Spaghetti Sauce

    Why is this homemade spaghetti sauce rich and just the right thickness even though it is meatless? Here are a few things that make a difference:

    • Add finely chopped or grated vegetables. This is another great reason why I love adding finely grated carrots. Not only do they add natural sweetness to the tomato sauce, but they also thicken the sauce and give it a nice body.
    • Use the right kind of canned tomatoes. Many recipes will use tomato sauce. That’s fine, but if you’re after thicker consistency, canned crushed tomatoes will give you a better result. And like I said earlier, something I don’t always add is a couple tablespoons of tomato paste which could also help.
    • Do not add too much liquid. In this recipe, I use about ½ cup water earlier on to get things going. Later, I watch the sauce as it simmers and I add a little bit more if needed .
    • Simmer the sauce. You’ll notice that once the sauce boils briefly, I turn the heat down and let it simmer a good 20 minutes. If I’m not in a hurry, I leave it a few extra minutes, watching the consistency and adding liquid if it turns too thick.
    • Other ways to thicken the sauce. Not used in this recipe, but you can also use a little bit of corn starch or even add an egg to thicken the sauce . I don’t use either of these methods in my recipe because it is just the right thickness for me.

    How To Make Spaghetti Sauce From Tomato Sauce

    Step 1

    Combine all of the following in a medium saucepan:

    • Two 15-oz. cans tomato sauce
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp each oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
    • 1/2 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder

    Step 2

    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

    Pour over cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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    How To Make Spaghetti Sauce: Step

    Guide for how to make spaghetti sauce

  • Cook onions, garlic and carrots

    In a pot or braiser, add a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Heat over medium/medium-high until just shimmering. Add chopped onions, garlic and finely grated carrots. Cook, stirring regularly for 5 minutes or so.

  • Add tomatoes, water, and seasoning

    Now, add in crushed tomatoes and a little bit of water . Season with kosher salt and black pepper to your liking. Stir in dry oregano, paprika and fresh herbs . Bring this party to a boil briefly, then lower heat.

  • Simmer till nice and ready!

    Cover and let the sauce simmer for 15 to 20 minutes . You should end up with a gorgeous sauce that is the perfect thickness. Add a bit of fresh basil or parsley if you have some left.

  • Add pasta & serve

    If you’re after the best tasting pasta, add your just cooked pasta to the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes or so to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors and goodness of the sauce!

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