Ultimate Spaghetti Sauce


There’s a whole lotta love in this sauce! This is my go-to tomato sauce – – my signature sauce if you will. It really is ah-mazing & oh so multi purpose!

The longer you have to simmer this recipe the better it will be. It’s all about building flavors. Take your time with this one. It makes a ton of sauce but you can freeze the unused portion.

This is a heavy sauce and goes best with pastas such as spaghetti, linguini, or penne (it would overwhelm angel hair or the like). If you don’t want to add the sausages, just leave them out. I like the flavor that they give to the sauce. Be sure you mince your carrots super fine. You don’t want to bite into a big chunk of carrot. You can do this in a food processor if you don’t think you can get it fine enough with a knife. I think I would use my food processor a lot more if it didn’t have so many parts & wasn’t in the back of a cabinet. LOL! Plus, it’s just another thing I have to wash.

When I’m cooking this sauce, I keep my tea kettle filled with water nearby. You just add about a cup at a time of water, let it reduce and continue until you’re ready to serve. And as always, only use a wine you would drink! If it’s not worth drinking then it’s not worth cooking with!

Does your signature tomato sauce have a special ingredient?


What you’ll need:
1 35 oz large can of Whole tomatoes – I use imported San Marzano Tomatoes
4 Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausages
1/2 jar of Roasted Red Bell Peppers – roughly chopped
1 onion – chopped
4 cloves of garlic – minced
2 carrots – peeled & minced
1/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter
extra virgin olive oil

What to do:
In a large skillet over medium heat (I use my chicken fryer) add a few good turns of your olive oil. Slightly brown your sausages. Add your onions and saute until translucent. Add your garlic & cook through about a minute. Add in your roasted red bell pepper & carrots. Cook through until carrots are soft.

Take your time. Remember you’re building flavors here. Add your tomatoes and all of it’s sauce & crush with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low. Add in your wine, butter & sugar and season well with salt & pepper. The longer your sauce has to simmer the better it will be. It will need at least an hour but preferably up to four hours. When your sauce reduces a bit, add in some water, stir through & reduce again. Continue this process while you’re simmering. Right before you’re about to serve, remove your sausages and give them a good chop. Return sausages to pan. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if necessary.

Buon Appetito!

Goes great with:
Spaghetti, Linguine, Penne


  1. 1

    What a great sauce recipe! Going to try this very soon!

    • 1.1

      Thanks Ruth! It’s really a great multi purpose sauce! I hope you love it!

  2. 2

    Sooooo yummy….Pasta pasta pasta…I can eat it anytime of the day 🙂

  3. 3

    always happy to have a great recipe for tomato sauce.

    • 3.1

      Thanks Anne! This is my go to sauce & one that I’ve tweaked over the years! Hope you enjoy it.

  4. 4

    That sauce looks SO good!! Thank you for sharing your signature sauce with all of us bloggers. It definitely makes me want to have pasta.

    • 4.1

      Thanks Terecita! You’re quite welcome. I’m so glad it makes you want to have pasta! I could live on Pasta!

  5. 5
    LA /

    This sounds fantastic! Growing up, my mom always put ground beef in pasta sauce. But I’ve discovered the Italian Sausage is the way to go!! Trader Joe’s sells an Italian Sausage that is a good bit leaner than what I find at other grocery stores. Love to use that. Def gonna try this!

    • 5.1

      Thanks LA! My mom puts a mixture of beef & sausage in hers. So jealous, wish I had a Trader Joe’s close by! Enjoy!

  6. 6

    This does look like the ultimate tomato sauce! Yummy, so nice and thick and deep-coloured red… it’s almost jewel-toned, like garnet! I also swear by San Marzano tomatoes, it’s not worth it buying the cheap stuff, they never lose that “tinned” taste.

    • 6.1

      Thanks Marta! There is just something about those San Marzano tomatoes isn’t there? You really can taste the difference!

  7. 7

    That looks so hearty and good…I think I could go for just a bowl of the sauce right now. 🙂

    • 7.1

      Thanks Melissa! Don’t tell, but I’ve been known to eat a bowl of just the sauce myself 😉 & of course you have to have a nice piece of Italian bread to go with! YUM!

  8. 8
    Katy /

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. In any case
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

    • 8.1

      Thanks so much Katy! I try to post at least three times a week! Thanks for subscribing to the feed! I really appreciate it!

  9. 9

    I love the concept of your site. I’m all about simplicity myself since I work a lot and most times I’m eating at my desk!

    That spaghetti looks AMAZING! I will definitely add your site to my “Following”. Be sure to check out my blog and/or join my Facebook group newly created yesterday called ‘Healthy Living & Food Bloggers’!


    • 9.1

      Thanks Quisha! With 3 little ones, simple is good. But simple doesn’t have to mean flavorless 😉 Thanks for following! We’re on Twitter & Facebook as well! Be sure to stop by & say hello!

  10. 10

    Ciao Paula,
    what a wonderful recipe ! As I’m Italian (so forgive my for my english 🙂 ) you may easily understand how I’m in love with pasta and all the receipes concernig it !
    Personally I add to onions and garlic, some celery and sometimes instead of the red pepper (I don’t know if it’s the same you mention ) a little bit of fresh peperoncino rosso (the one typical of Calabria, Italy is the one I prefer 🙂
    Grazie !!!! Ciao

    • 10.1

      Ciao Donatella! Grazie mille per i complimenti. Non preoccuparti, il tuo Inglese e’ perfetto! A presto!

  11. 11

    THis sure looks and sounds delicious with the sausages and roasted peppers!

  12. 12

    That sauce does look tasty!

  13. 13

    This is very similar to a marinara I make, but my marinara also has celery in addition to the tomatoes, onions, and carrots. But yours also has wine, sausage, and those sinful roasted peppers! Am going to HAVE to try this with all fresh ingredients when the tomatoes and peppers start coming in. My salivary glands are cramping 🙂

  14. 14

    This sounds delicious! Maybe I’ll make it this weekend since it seems that my oven stopped working while I was in Europe. I can only use my stove right now!

  15. 15

    I love that you use sugar in your sauce too – to me, sugar is so essential to cut the acidity of the tomatoes!

  16. 16

    I’m making this special sauce today…Visit my blog to see my take on it.

  17. 17
    Shauna /

    Hi Paula! I just stumbled upon your wonderful blog yesterday, and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes! I have a question, though: do you think the sausage would lose its integrity if I removed them from their casings before browning? I’m just not a huge fan of chewing through the casings when the meat has been chopped. Thanks so much, and happy New Year! 🙂

    • 17.1

      Thanks Shauna! That’s so sweet! I haven’t ever taken them out of their casing, but I’m guessing it would be just fine. I myself don’t like the thick casings either & prefer the Johnsonville sausages as their casings don’t seem to be so tough and cumbersome : ) Hope that helps! Happy New Year!

  18. 18
    Me /

    Where’s the oregano?!?!

  19. 19
    Aspiring Italian Cookstress /

    Yum! This looks like a wonderful recipe. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for posting this one Paula 🙂

  20. 20
    Erin /

    I’d love to try this recipe this week, but I’m living in Germany, where they don’t have jarred roasted bell peppers. I’ll make my own, but what sized jar are you using? Also, after everything is put together, do you think it’d be okay to throw it in the slow cooker to simmer for several hours? I’m guessing not because you want to reduce it, but I thought I’d ask anyway. Thanks for what looks like a great recipe!

    • 20.1

      Hi Erin! You can roast the bell peppers yourself. I’d recommend using two red bell peppers : ) Hope that helps!

      • Erin /

        Thanks a bunch! I really can’t wait to make this. I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

        • You’re quite welcome Erin! I’ve never tried making it in a crockpot but if you do try that method too, let me know how it works : ) xoxo

  21. 21
    Erin /

    I made this today and it’s delicious! I only used one of the peppers I roasted and that was more than enough for me. I don’t like peppers but I try not to be one of those people that changes recipes and then whines about it not working 🙂 I’ll just leave it out next time. Italian sausage also isn’t widely available here so I made my own, without casings, and it also worked out really well! (Google Hubpages Italian sausage) Before I added the tomatoes, I threw everything in the slow cooker, put the lid on sideways so the condensation could escape and it was good after about two hours, but it’s still in there after 10. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. 22

    Make this today for the In-laws…My MIL makes the best spaghetti sauce ever- but mine(yours) rivaled hers!!!! This will be my go-to sauce recipe from now on!!!! 😀

  23. 23
    Lynn H /

    What I love the most is ” take your time, remember you are building flavors here.” I took a nice slow deep breath and said, yes… no need to hurry, besides, its barely 6 a.m. and no rush… thank you for that, because this turned from a chore to fun! I will be using CENTO tomatoes since it is what we already have. Thank You!

  24. 24
    Katherine /

    I’m making this as we speak, and my kitchen smells so fantastic my dog is even being good. This is my first homemade sauce, and all of the recipes I found looked boring or too complicated (last minute decision to cook for company – only have about two hours.) As I’m a newbie, I’m sure this will be the best sauce I’ve ever had, but even after I try new things I’m sure it will be a standby as its just so easy. Thanks!

  25. 25
    Beth /

    My son asked for penne with homemade spaghetti sauce for his 15th birthday. I had to go to the computer because I never made sauce before (too easy to open a jar). Your sauce is simmering now. I will never use jarred sauce again. This is too easy..and sooo much better! My house smells amazing! Thanks for making me “mom of the year”!!!


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