If you’re like me, I have been overthinking spaghetti sauce. This Old World sauce is incredibly simple and will make you re-think going to your favorite expensive Italian restaurant!
Why shell out the bucks for food that’s likely manufactured in bulk somewhere in an off-site facility? You don’t have to! You can make your own that probably tastes even better AND you know the exact ingredient list.
Everyone knows the Italian families are known for their huge family gatherings, usually on Sundays, and most likely with a variety of pastas and sauces and other dishes that might be unfamiliar to the average outsider. Wouldn’t you like to be a guest at that table?
A dear friend of Italian heritage is our go-to cook for the closest thing I’ll probably ever get to one of those gatherings. When Italian cuisine is on the menu for a potluck or special dinner at church, we aren’t above begging for spaghetti or lasagna or anything she “offers” with her perfect, authentic, Old World sauce.
She comes from a long lineage of Italian cooks who have perfected and passed down their Old World secrets through the generations. I’m so glad she isn’t selfish with her secrets.
The secret really is in the sauce!
Let me tell you, it pays to have an Italian friend! She shared her recipe! Ahhhh!
Now, I don’t claim that mine is as good as hers. You know, some things are just better because tradition makes it that way. Mine is pretty stinkin’ close, though!
First, there are the tomatoes. The best choice are Roma tomatoes. I mean, they aren’t named Roma for nothing. But don’t let the name fool you!
The Roma tomato IS commonly known as a plum tomato or an Italian tomato. However, the Roma tomato was produced in the US in the 1950s, in 1955, to be exact.
Some sandwich shops use the Roma as a tasty addition to their menu, but it’s best known for its beautiful flavor and high yield of fruit versus liquid.
For this reason, the Roma is widely used in recipes because it cooks down and makes a thicker and richer sauce. It can ultimately be cooked into a rich paste we use to thicken tomato-based sauces, such as marinara or bolognese.
This recipe is pretty forgiving so you can use your choice of tomato products to suit your preference of texture. Some of us like a more smooth sauce and others prefer more chunky.
My personal preference is my own canned tomato products, which you can find right here in the recipe archives. I use what I have on the shelf throughout the year after canning our summer harvest.
The other ingredients included in the ingredient list are probably already right in your spice cabinet; garlic salt, black pepper, and oregano.
One last ingredient that is completely optional, but I love to add it because it just kind of pushes it over the top, if you know what I mean – shredded parmesan cheese. What is a meal without cheese, right? Especially, an Italian meal!
So, grab your ingredients, put on your apron, and let’s cook!
Old World Spaghetti Sauce
- 16 oz tomato puree
- 16 oz crushed tomatoes
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 T garlic salt
- 1 t ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 T crushed oregano leaves
- 6 oz shredded parmesan cheese (optional, but recommended)
- Over medium heat, add tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices to medium saucepan.
- Stir until combined well.
- Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for at least 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. (The longer it simmers, the better, to allow flavors to meld.)
- Add cheese about 10 minutes before serving and stir well to allow cheese to melt and blend into sauce.
- You can also add cooked ground beef or meatballs to make an incredible meat sauce!
- Recipe is easily doubled or tripled.
- Recipe can also be water bath canned in pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes.