If I had to choose a food to eat every day for the rest of my life, this would be it. For those of you who might not know, I am Italian, with ancestry from Sicily and Naples. I come from a family of great cooks! This is my red sauce as taught by my Mom, Grandma and Aunts!

My Homemade Spaghetti Sauce is lovely and rich - I call it spaghetti sauce even though I don't eat mine on spaghetti. I do eat my red sauce either in a bowl with a meatball or over a scoop of cold ricotta with lots of freshly grated Locatelli cheese and pop or fresh chopped basil or parsley. I make my husband a small portion of his favorite Angel Hair for his meal.

Watch your sauce change from bright red to the beautiful red orange in my photo as it slowly simmers. It is Italian magic!

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small bouquet of fresh basil - about 6 stems with leaves, or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, rough chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seed - place on a cutting board and give them a bit of a rough chop or crush with bottom of heavy saucepan to release the flavor
  • A big pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Two 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes, go for an Italian brand like Cento or Rao's or Hunt's San Marzano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and saute the onion and garlic until softened and translucent.
  • Add the basil, fennel and red pepper and cook for one minute while stirring to infuse flavor into the olive oil.
  • Add the tomatoes, 1/2 can water (or white wine), salt and black pepper.
  • Lower heat to medium and bubble for fifteen minutes.
  • This is the time to add browned Italian sausage or meatballs with any juices collected in the bowl. Then lower heat, cover and simmer 90 minutes.
  • Serve spooned over a scoop of ricotta in a small dish, with chopped fresh basil and pecorino romano or parmesan cheese - for the family serve the sauce ladled over cooked macaroni.
January 05, 2023
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