Once you taste this flavorful spaghetti sauce from scratch you’ll agree it’s the only homemade pasta sauce recipe you’ll ever need. There’s something very special and satisfying about making time-honored comfort foods. Maybe it’s the fabulous aroma that fills your kitchen, or feelings of nostalgia as you remember times gone by when your mother or grandmother prepared a similar recipe for you. For me it’s both of these things, as well as the warmth and love I feel when preparing a healthy wholesome meal for my family.
Ingredients for Making Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch
These are all the ingredients you’ll need to make fabulous spaghetti sauce from scratch: lean ground beef, ground Italian sausage, olive oil, yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic cloves, Italian parsley, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, ground cloves, bay leaves. For garnishing and additional flavor: Italian parsley and parmesan cheese. Note: the mushrooms I used are canned, which is a personal preference, but you can use fresh mushrooms instead. When making pasta sauce I really like the texture and tangy citrus flavor of canned mushrooms, as they’re packed in water and citrus juices.
How to Make Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch
For this pasta sauce recipe, use a sturdy heavy-duty pan such as a cast-iron pan with a lid or a Dutch oven. I like using my Staub Universal Pan. It has a glass dome lid and it’s just the right size. Begin by cooking the ground beef and Italian sausage over medium heat. As you brown the meat, use a wooden spatula to break it up into small pieces. Once the meat is fully cooked, drain off all the fat. With the meat still in the pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook the veggies until they’re tender.
Add in the remaining ingredients: Italian parsley, sliced mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, bay leaves and spices. Stir until all of these ingredients are fully incorporated into the spaghetti sauce. Bring the pasta sauce to a light boil and then cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to low.
Allow the spaghetti sauce to simmer on the stove for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. This will allow enough time for reduction and for all the beautiful flavors to merge together. At the end of the cooking time, remember to remove the two bay leaves from the meat sauce before serving.
Healthy Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
The spaghetti I use is of standard thickness, but you can choose to use thick spaghetti instead. Boil the spaghetti according to package instructions.
Take care to fully drain off all the water from the cooked spaghetti. Add the spaghetti to a serving bowl, ladle the spaghetti sauce over the noodles, then gently mix everything together. To add a festive flair to this beautiful dish, garnish it with Italian parsley. If desired, lightly sprinkle the top of the pasta with parmesan cheese.
Three Secrets to a Flavorful Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch
Two of my biggest secrets for making this spaghetti sauce from scratch really stand out from the crowd is the use of ground cloves and apple cider vinegar. These two ingredients elevate this homemade recipe, taking things to the next level. Together they provide a delicious combination of exciting complex flavors and a very distinctive earthy, rustic taste. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, you can use red wine instead. My third secret is taste testing the sauce throughout the cooking process. If you’re unsure about a spice or other ingredient, add in a portion and then taste the result before adding in the entire amount. Following a recipe to the T should never be the goal. Follow your taste buds! As I share this post with you I’m snacking on a bowl of this tasty scrumptiousness. Mmmmm…this pasta sauce is so darn good. I can hardly wait for you to cook up a batch too!
Here’s one last close-up image of this fabulous spaghetti sauce from scratch!
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I absolutely love my Staub Universal Pan! It comes with a glass dome lid that makes it perfect for making spaghetti sauce from scratch. Below are other kitchen essentials I know you’ll love.
Spaghetti Sauce from Scratch
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 4-ounce cans sliced mushrooms, liquid drained off
- 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 14.5 ounce can beef broth
- 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar or red wine
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- Garnishes: Italian parsley and parmesan cheese
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- In a heavy pan with lid, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage over medium heat. While browning the meat, use a wooden spatula to break it up into small pieces. Once the meat is fully cooked, drain off all the fat.
- With the cooked meat still in the pan, add in the olive oil, onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Continue cooking until the veggies are tender. Add in the canned mushrooms (drained), Italian parsley, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, beef broth, apple cider vinegar, sugar, all of the spices and the bay leaves. Stir well until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Bring the spaghetti sauce to a brief boil, then cover the pot with a lid and dial down the heat to low. Allow the meat sauce to continue to simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the two bay leaves from the pot. If desired, sprinkle the sauce with a bit of additional fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve over spaghetti or your favorite pasta. This homemade spaghetti sauce is also perfect for making lasagna.
Courses Lunch, Dinner, Potluck
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SPAGHETTI SAUCE FROM SCRATCH > YOUR THOUGHTS
Have you ever made spaghetti sauce from scratch? What do you think of this scrumptious homemade pasta sauce recipe? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!