Basic (But Not Boring) Tomato Sauce

Posted on July 24, 2013 in Entrees, Recipes | 0 comments


Tomato sauce can be simple and flavorful with just a few ingredients. Or, it can be detailed and chunky, as if you have a garden in your pot.

I love the smell of fresh herbs, mountains of garlic (maybe a little exaggerated), tomatoes, and red wine.  It’s important to pick a red wine that you enjoy drinking because a little is added to your sauce and a glassful for you.  A splash here and a taste there 🙂

I’ve said it before and will say it again: recipes are guidelines.  Especially tomato sauce recipes!  This is your chance to play around.  A pinch more of this and a splash more of that, you can add sautéed onions, mushroom, zucchini or peppers (hence the garden-in-your-pot analogy.)  Add a variety of meats for a more complex flavor.

I made a whole mess of meatballs, so I chose to share this tomato sauce recipe since it compliments the meatballs and really boosts the flavor factor.  Fresh lemon juice is added to a lot of meals I cook these days. My sister, Ellen, got the family on a lemon kick by adding it to a number of our meals. Lemon gives freshness to anything (well…within reason 🙂 ).  A fresh, tomato-herb taste traced with lemon and meat flavor will make your house smell heavenly.



4 – 28 oz. cans of tomato sauce

1 small can of tomato paste

3 to 4 tsp. dried basil (fresh if possible)

4 cloves of garlic, smashed

½ tsp. salt (or to taste)

½ tsp. pepper (or to taste)

3 T. sugar

½ cup of red wine

Juice from ¼ to ½ of a lemon

Mild Italian sausage links fried and cut into thirds (optional)

Meatballs (optional)



Place all your ingredients into a large pot.  Heat on low; simmer on stove for an hour or two.  You will need to stir frequently.  I usually place a lid half on (ajar) to help contain the splatters.

Add meatballs and Italian sausage to your sauce about half way through cooking time.

The meatballs and sausage will continue to cook in the sauce and add extra flavor.


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