My mother always made this sauce when I was growing up. It would simmer for hours on the back burner of the stove, filling the house with hints of a delicious meal yet to come. Often, it would become a lasagna instead of just a bowl of spaghetti and sauce. Other times, she would turn it into something fancier like stuffed pasta.
All these years later, I will make this sauce when I have a bunch of fresh tomatoes. It takes a lot longer to make than opening a jar, but the flavors are undeniably homemade and delicious. It freezes well, so if you don’t need the large amount that this recipe makes, just divide it into smaller containers for a few more meals.
For an alternative, I especially like to add meat to it while it simmers and let the meat cook for an hour or two in a traditional Italian “gravy” style. The resulting sauce is out of this world.
- 2 quarts canned tomatoes or 14 large fresh tomatoes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp basil
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp season salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp honey to taste
- 1 small can tomato paste
- Drain tomatoes or chop fresh tomatoes.
- Put them through a food processor.
- In a dutch oven, saute onion and garlic in olive oil.
- Add the tomatoes.
- Season with bay leaves,oregano, basil, parsley,nutmeg, season salt, pepper and honey.
- Simmer at least 2½ hours
- Add tomato paste and simmer ½ hour more.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
* Note: I am going to make meatballs later out of some Jennie-O Italian sausage links I got on sale. I will take the meat out of the casings and add an egg and 2/3 cups of breadcrumbs and form into balls. About 45 minutes before serving, I will drop them into the sauce to cook.
My house already smells SO GOOD!