Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Secret Sauce Revealed!

No...not really a secret but I am always getting requests for this recipe from friends.

There is a long history of this recipe. My mother's grandfather came over from Italy through Ellis Island. Her father's parents also came from Itay which makes me 3rd generation Italian.

My mother tells the story of the day before her wedding, her mother teaching her to make the family tomato sauce recipe. She scribbled furiously all the details on an index card.

Other stories included when there was no money for meat in the sauce they would add pamesean cheese for flavor.

I took this classic meat sauce recipe and developed it into a marinara.

The real secret? The great tip to good tasting sauce is sugar (like most things)

Here is my family's recipe. It makes a large pot of sauce. Divide it in thirds (gallon Ziploc bags) and freeze 2/3 of it.

3 - 28 oz cans Tomato Puree
1 - 28 oz can Crushed Tomato
1 cup red wine
1 large onion - diced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1tsp red pepper flakes
8 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pamesean cheese

Sweat the onions and garlic in olive oil. Then add the cans of puree and crushed tomato and stir. Then fill each can halfway with water and add to the pot. Add spices, sugar and wine.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 2 and a half hours. Add the parmesean and serve with your favorite pasta.

For a meat sauce (and the original recipe) replace cheese and fry up a pound of Italian sausage, meatballs and 3 pounds of country style ribs. Add to sauce once it's come to a boil and leave until the sauce is finished.

This is my heritage... a la familia!!

-- Posted from my iPhone


  1. YUM! Sounds great! I made marinara sauce from one of my Italian friend's "old family recipes" this weekend. Very similar to your recipe, delicious!

  2. I can't wait to try your sauce! It sounds very yummy...with lots of sugar. I'm really enjoying your blog. Keep up the inspiration.


  3. I make my sauce VERY similar! I just have never used pepper flakes! I am going to next time. Seriously, they are almost identical. I just use different sauce/tomato ratios and I made mine up in my 20's! :)


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