Hittin The Sauce

You thought this was going to be another post about booze.

Sorry to dissappoint.

My dad used to make the best spaghetti sauce. Sadly I never got the recipe before he passed away, so I will share this one with you instead. I do have his bbq sauce recipe for another day. He was a great cook.  Mom was the baker. She still bakes, but now she burns a lot of stuff because she gets so wrapped up in her jigsaw puzzle that she forgets things in the oven. Jigsaw puzzles are her hobby. Jigsaw puzzles and washing her zip loc bags. Which drives me to the brink. She also washes all small plastic containers and calls them her tupperware. Heaven help you if you do not return the tupperware. She will remember that you have the cool whip container long after you have tossed it into recycling. You are better off buying a whole new thing of cool whip and replacing the tupperware rather than listen to her passive aggressively complain within earshot about how no one ever returns her containers.

You will be treated to lots of mom stories this summer when I spend the month with her in Wisconsin.

Bet you can’t wait.

You start with garlic and onion. You want to chop the ever lovin heck out of it in the food processor because we are not going for big chunks of onion in our sauce.

Here is a hint. Chop extra onion and garlic and then while the sauce is simmering, make the meatballs.

Home made sauce is truly worth it. Although it is admittedly cheaper to buy a can of Hunt’s sauce for $1. Nothing beats your own. Plus you are avoiding all the extra water retaining sodium, thus enabling you to save some room in your pants for dessert.

Your basic sauce contains onion, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, parsley & basil. Salt & pepper to taste and throw in a tablespoon or two of this to cut the acid.

You could use white sugar too.

Remember when you use dry herbs to smoosh them up before you add them. This releases the flavor. In about a month I should have fresh herbs for my sauce.

Look at my basil grow!

And this is the parsley. Very ‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary’ isn’t it?

If you look closely at the first picture you will see how I almost made a rookie mistake and used tomato sauce instead of paste. And that just won’t work. I got as far as opening the can and thinking ‘What the h-e-doublehockeysticks is wrong with this paste?’

This is my favorite part of making sauce. I love adding the paste and watching it thicken up. It is somewhat akin to those little capsule things that you throw in a glass of water and they turn into different shapes.

This & vacuuming are two great joys of my life.


The secret to good sauce is tasting! Add a little more of this or that until it tastes right to you.

It freezes beautifully. Here is my last household tip of the day. Before you store your sauce, spray the inside of your container with a little nonstick spray and the sauce will not stain it red.

Unless your container is from the cool whip company.

Then you had better give it back to my mom.

Basic Spaghetti Sauce

2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or about 1-2 tablespoons dried)
3 cloves garlic, minced
LOTS of chopped fresh basil (or 1-2 tablespoons dried)
4  tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup white or red wine (whatever you’re drinking while you cook will work beautifully)
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes until onion is transclucent.
Add both cans of tomatoes and stir well
Add herbs and wine and stir it up.
Add your paste and have fun with it!
Simmer for 30 minutes adding your salt pepper and more herbs to taste. After 30 minutes go ahead and throw in your brown sugar. Add another tablespoon if it tastes too acidic.
While the sauce is simmering make your meatballs. Once the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes go ahead and add the meatballs and let it all go together for another 45 minutes to an hour.

About Janice

I am 40 years old. Loving life and (finally) being a grown up. I have 3 great kids that sometimes make me want to drink copious amounts of wine. I have been married to my amazing husband since 2001. I have more great girlfriends than you can shake the proverbial stick at. Join me in this adventure that is my life.
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6 Responses to Hittin The Sauce

  1. Jennifer says:

    don’t hate on cool whip containers! It’s Polish Tupperware! But I don’t expect those back… I use those for “giveaways” and keep my nice tupperware for myself.

    I like your springy background! Yay!

  2. Kristin says:

    That sounds delicious…and, great tip for avoiding the stained bowls.

  3. Sara Myers says:

    Sounds delish, but I gotta tell ya….as I get lazier in my old age (I used to do the from scratch thing) I’m a huge fan of Newman’s Own Cabernet Marinara….yep, it’s quick, AND it has WINE in it!!!!

  4. Kimberly says:


  5. Sister Cindy says:

    Any one that doubts Lea (Janice) on the “Tupperware”, I can vouch for her. Our mom is a “Tupperware Nazi”, and she even washes out bread sacks and sandwich bags. She recycled LONG b/4 it was cool….. C
    PS. I have NEVER EVAH bought a can of spaghetti sauce. Always make my own and freeze.

  6. julie says:

    making it tonight for the boy and me, doesn’t that just sound sad and lonely. maybe i better make the sangria too!

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