homemade pasta sauce recipe

For my brother’s birthday, my family went out to eat at a Japanese steak house.  I couldn’t wait to try their ginger salad dressing, garlic noodles, and fresh hibachi chicken, right off the grill.  And when the waitress asked Elle what she wanted to eat, her response was a very emphatic “spaghetti!”. 

She is only 3, and I am hoping to expand her culinary sense of adventure soon, but for now, we are eating a lot of homemade pizza, homemade macaroni and cheese and applesauce. 

I remember when I first started cooking (right around the time I started dating my husband, un-coincidentally), I made spaghetti every week.  It was cheap (I was a poor college student), quick (boil noodles, warm up sauce from a jar) and always tasted good.  It wasn’t until a couple years later that I realized how incredibly simple it is to make it from scratch.

I’ve tried many different homemade pasta sauce recipes, some a little more labor intensive, and others that were incredibly simple… almost as easy as pouring sauce from a jar 🙂

Here is the most simple, best-tasting homemade pasta sauce recipe I have found:

Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can of san marzano peeled tomatoes (you can use regular tomatoes, but these taste the best)
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp organic sugar cane (optional)

 In a large pan, heat olive oil up over medium heat.  Saute onions in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, or until soft and translucent.  Add in garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.  Pour in tomatoes — if you are using canned whole tomatoes, squeeze the tomatoes (with clean hands) as you’re adding them to the pan, to break them up.  Add in basil, salt and sugar and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. 

You can certainly omit the sugar, if you like.  I think the sweetness balances out the acidity of the tomatoes, so I always add a little bit. 

You can toss with ground beef or sauasge for a more filling meal, or leave it as is for a vegetarian option.  Toss with warm, cooked noodles (we like whole wheat angel hair) and enjoy!

homemade pasta sauce recipe2

My mom was kind enough to pick me up a bottle of Trader Joe’s Organic Garlic Olive Oil*, and I have been using it in all of my Italian dishes.  It is sooo good. 

If you are looking for some other yummy dishes, check these out:

*Side note, I linked to these products on Amazon, so you can see the brands I like and trust, but most of them are highly inflated on Amazon.  If you live near a local Trader Joes or other quality grocery store, you can likely find these products there, for much cheaper!

Do you have a favorite homemade pasta sauce recipe?  Do you add in any other fresh veggies?



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