The Secrets to a Delicious Pasta Sauce

I just finished up canning all of my tomatoes for the season, and thought I would share my secrets, and a large batch canning recipe for a delicious, thick, packed with flavor spaghetti sauce.

I make this sauce (and double it) every year and the 16 quarts it produces never seems to last my family long enough. We begin to yearn for this sauce, and are so excited to have it again once the tomatoes begin to ripen on the vine.

This recipe makes roughly 8 quarts.

A large counter top roaster oven is a great tool when processing large batches. I will give instructions for both the roaster (what I use) and a stock pot.

The secret to a thick sauce is to cook it down. A really long time. Another secret ingredient is a little sugar. You need a slightly sweet element to enhance the tomato flavor.

When you are ready to prepare your pasta meal, add two tablespoons of butter to the pan before pouring in the sauce. Dreamy!

A version of this recipe was given to me several years ago by a family friend. I have changed and adapted it to fit my needs.

30 pounds of Tomatoes
4 cups diced Onions (you can cook these down in a little olive oil, if you’d like, but that is optional)
¼ cup Garlic Juice (or more – to taste)
3 Bay Leaves
¾ cup Sugar
2 tsp pepper
¾ cup Olive Oil
¼ cup Oregano
2 tbsp Basil
8 Bouillon Cubes (I know, I know. I haven’t found a good replacement for this yet)
1 tbsp Salt


  1. Prepare your tomatoes for roasting by coring them with a small paring knife and adding two small knife cuts (like a cross) along the blossom end of the tomato.
  2. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool until they are easy to handle, about 30-45 minutes depending on the toughness of your hands.
  4. Peel the tomatoes, one by one, and place the meat into your roaster oven or large stock pot.
    1. Save the tomato juice and water bath can for chilis and soups!
    2. Save the skins for the compost or chickens.
  5. Once all of the tomatoes are peeled, set your roaster to 200 degrees, or your stock pot to medium-high.
    1. If using a stock pot turn the temperature to a simmer after the tomatoes come to a boil. Cook down for roughly two hours.
    2. If using a roaster oven, simmer the tomatoes for 12 hours.
  6. After the total cooking time is up, process sauce in a blender or food processor, until it reaches your desired consistency (this is optional).
  7. Pour smooth sauce back into roaster oven or stock pot.
  8. Add all of your seasonings and spices.
  9. Simmer again for 2 more hours in a stock pot (12 more hours in a roaster oven), or until your preferred consistency.
  10. Pour finished sauce into hot sterile quart jars and water bath for 45 minutes.

This is a long process, but very hands off, and so worth it! The sauce will be thick and full of flavor.

You can use this recipe on a small scale. Just reduce the ingredients accordingly.


Did you try my recipe? Let me know how it turned out in the comment section below, and share with your friends!

3 Comments on “The Secrets to a Delicious Pasta Sauce

  1. Pingback: Simple Pasta | Spengler Farm

  2. Ive never even thought about making pasta sauce, and i usually have lots of tomatoes this time of year. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks.

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