From My Mother’s Kitchen: Authentic Red Sauce

From My Mother’s Kitchen: Authentic Red Sauce

This recipe is deceptively simple and creates a lasting, savory, authentic red sauce that will impress everyone you know– yourself included!

A little over a year ago, I moved away to a new city to attend college. The thing I miss most about home–aside from my friends, family, and pets­– is my mother’s cooking. Dining hall food can be a risky bet, going out to restaurants is expensive, and cooking is difficult and time-consuming. As a result, I often find myself dreaming of my mother’s signature meals. Every time I visit home I take full advantage of my mother’s wizardry in the kitchen. One of her magical dishes is a homemade red sauce that is so good you can eat it plain (it tastes better on pasta, pizza, or garlic bread, though.) On the phone I mentioned to her how much I missed her homemade red sauce and told her how I can never go back to eating generic red sauce like Ragu or Prego.

To my surprise, a week later, a box arrived with the ingredients to her red sauce recipe with a note that said call her for instructions. My first thought was that there was no way I would be able to create this masterpiece of a meal. Being that I have actually burnt water before, I was skeptical I would churn out anything edible. To the surprise of everyone in my dorm, the red sauce was delicious! I dumped all the ingredients into the pot on a Saturday afternoon and stirred every so often it in between doing homework, running errands, and cleaning. By Saturday evening, all I had to do was turn off the stove and pour the red sauce on some pasta– it’s that easy! Since the batch feeds so many, I froze many servings for quick dinners in the future. My mother’s authentic red sauce is a painless meal that anyone can make, and now I’m sharing this recipe from my mother's kitchen, to yours:


·   One onion minced

·   Four cloves garlic minced

·   2 cans Hunt's tomato paste with oregano

·   1 can Hunt's tomato sauce 15 oz

·   1 can Hunt's crushed basil tomatoes 28 oz

·   1 package Johnsonville sweet Italian sausage in casings like hot dogs.

·   1 package Johnsonville Italian sausage

·   1 Tablespoon dried sweet basil

·   1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

·   1 Teaspoon crushed rosemary

·   1 Teaspoon oregano

·   1/2  Teaspoon crushed  fennel seed

·   2 Bay leaves

·   1 1/2  Tablespoon dark sugar or any sugar

·   1/2 Cup Chianti wine


Carefully chop the onion and put in large pot with some olive oil. Cook on medium heat to soften the onions without browning.

Add 4 cloves of minced garlic without browning.

Add the basil, Italian seasoning, rosemary, oregano, and fennel.  Stir in those spices over medium heat with the onions and garlic.

Add the two cans of tomato paste, mixing well.

Add in the Italian sausage. For the package of sweet Italian sausage in the casings, leave them intact and place directly into pot. For the other package, mix sausage into the pot, breaking apart the sausage into smaller pieces as you stir.

Add the can of tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes.

Bring to a low boil while stirring. Then add the bay leaves and sugar. Lower the heat to a really low simmer, cover, and stir occasionally (about every 30 minutes) for around four hours.

A half hour before serving, add in 1/2 cup wine and continue to cook on low.  

Taste and add seasoning if needed.


Serve with pasta, garlic bread, and salad. Enjoy!

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