Best Easy Homemade Rich Spaghetti Sauce Recipe - Loaded with Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, More
Do you prefer more pasta or more sauce?
I love spaghetti sauce! Actually, I love any kind of sauce. The best thing about pasta dishes, to me, is definitely the sauce. Spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, Alfredo sauce . . . . Give me just a few noodles, and I'll pile on the sauce.
I like my sauce loaded, too. I don't even need meat, necessarily (although some meatballs are a nice touch), but I love adding in chopped mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions.
I've even added in black olives and pepperonis, as the mood hits. Yum, so tasty.
For a really zesty sauce, using Italian sausage can really spice things up, too.
My Almost Homemade Sauce
My homemade sauce isn't perfectly homemade, as I don't start totally from scratch. Instead of starting from tomatoes, I do use canned tomato products, as many recipes call for. Often, I even start with a can or jar of premade spaghetti sauce and then just add to it. The crushed tomatoes give the sauce a great tomato taste.
My new-found favorite ingredient now is tomato paste. I've never used tomato paste much in the past, but, since discovering it, I can't leave it out. The flavor is so rich, which fits in perfectly with a robust spaghetti sauce.
Personally, I think it's fun to experiment with the sauce, and it is often different but always tasty. I'm sharing my recipe, but please feel free to experiment as you wish. That's part of the fun of cooking, after all.
Cook Time - Prep Time includes chopping and mixing; Cook time involves sauteeing and simmering!
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 30 min
- Ready in: 1 hour
- Yields: Approximately 6, less for spaghetti lovers like me
Spagetti with Meat Sauce or Meatballs?
I love spaghetti sauce so much (did I say that already?) that I can go with or without any meat added. When I make it for my boyfriend, meat is pretty much required, as seems to be the case with most men. Fine with me! I'm not opposed to a meaty sauce, either. I can eat spaghetti sauce different ways and enjoy any version.
One of these days I'm going to learn to make my own meatballs, but, for now, I often go the lazy route and purchase frozen meatballs. Hey, they're easy! And it's all about the sauce, anyway, right? I really like frozen meatballs. I drain them and add them to the sauce while it's simmering on the stove.
Sometimes I just add ground meat. I crumble up ground beef or sausage (preferably Italian) and brown it in a pan. After draining it, I then add the chopped vegetables, then the tomato products, and, finally, the spices.
My mouth is watering just thinking about a tasty, rich spaghetti sauce. I may have to make some again soon!
Ingredients: Without further ado . . . .
- 1 can or jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 or 1 whole green bell pepper, chopped
- 8 (or more) whole mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbs. Italian seasoning, or more to taste
- 1 tsp Oregano, or more to taste
- OR spaghetti flavoring packet, some or all in lieu of the above spices.
- 1/2 to 1 cup water, optional (I use about 1/2 cup)
- 1 t. or more sugar, (key in cutting the acid/sour flavor)
- pepperonis, optional
- black olives, optional
- ground beef, turkey, or sausage--or meatballs, optional
Update on Tomato Ingredients for Sauce
I've made several batches of spaghetti sauce since creating this recipe, and this last time I tweaked the tomato products to make the sauce even tastier and saucier! I didn't start with pre-made sauce. Instead, here are the four products I used:
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 oz. can Italian style diced tomatoes
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
Feel free to still add fresh tomatoes in lieu of or in addition to the canned diced tomatoes.
Approximate Nutritional Values (dependent on ingredients used)
|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||45|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 5 g||8%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 64 g||21%|
|Sugar 14 g|
|Fiber 8 g||32%|
|Protein 15 g||30%|
|Cholesterol 8 mg||3%|
|Sodium 1120 mg||47%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Instructions for Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- Place chopped onions and bell peppers in pan. Sautee in olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat before adding sliced mushrooms and cooking until vegetables are softened.
- Add 3 cloves minced garlic while cooking.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. I prefer a few sprinkles of sea salt plus some cracked black pepper.
- Pour in can of spaghetti sauce, can of crushed tomatoes, plus can of tomato paste. In the summertime, I like to add a few chopped, fresh tomatoes out of the garden or from the Farmer's Market.
- Add in additional spices to taste. Turn to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so.
- In the meantime, boil spaghetti or other pasta as per package instructions. Mix sauce with pasta or serve separately. I prefer to keep the sauce separate, as I like to use much more sauce than noodles. Plus, I don't want the noodles to soak up all the sauce.
- Check spaghetti sauce for thickness. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup water for desired thickness.
- Meat is optional. Cook frozen meatballs in the oven and add them to the sauce while it's simmering, or opt for ground beef or sausage, Cook it first, drain, before adding the vegetables in step 1 and continuing with the rest of the instructions.
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© 2014 Vicki L Hodges