Homemade Red Sauce

I normally buy red sauce because it’s so quick and easy to make a yummy, filling meal of spaghetti and meat sauce with a good jarred sauce. But, I have started making homemade mozzarella and ricotta, and I am planning to use them in lasagna, so it just seemed like homemade red sauce was called for. If I’m feeling really energetic I’ll even make my own lasagna noodles.

This is the recipe for the basic red sauce, which goes well on perogies, tortellini, or as a dipping sauce for fried zucchini or bread sticks. It would work for pizza sauce, too. Of course, you can easily turn this into a meat sauce (instructions below).


1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (I prefer extra light tasting)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bulb roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large can whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces)

1 regular can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
4 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
¼ cup Shiraz (red wine)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt to taste


In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, basil, oregano, black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent. Add roasted garlic.

Place the whole canned tomatoes in a large bowl and squeeze to break into small pieces. Be careful when squeezing or you’ll quirt juice all over your kitchen.

Add the broken-up tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, Shiraz, bay leaf, garlic powder, onion powder, and brown sugar to the pot and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally.

Turning this into Meat Sauce:

If meat sauce is what you are really after, just brown about 1½ pounds of ground beef with your favorite seasonings (I use salt, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and a touch of oregano) and drain off the excess grease. Return the beef to the pan and season some more if needed. When the meat is good and flavorful, toss it into your red sauce, stir, and simmer for a few minutes. If you are not going to us it right away, you can skip that last simmer until you are warming the sauce to serve.

This goes great in lasagna, or on top of spaghetti.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *