Grandma’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce RecipeSeptember 8, 2008 • By Tara Ziegmont
This traditional spaghetti sauce from scratch recipe is so simple and easy that you will never want another! It has been passed down through the generations in my family, and it is a real winner with great results every single time. We’ve always made it using fresh tomatoes, but you can also use canned tomatoes.
When I was a little girl, we were poor and lived way out in the boonies. My mom, Granny, and Old Grandma all grew large gardens, and they all shopped at nearby farms to enable them to put up large quantities of fruits and vegetables by canning and freezing for the winter.
When my husband and I were newly married, we grew a garden that never produced much, so we always ended up buying a glut of tomatoes every summer. We would go for the ugly ones that had been set to the side by the farm market because they were significantly cheaper than the perfect ones, and we would usually bring home a whole peck which is 8 quarts. Joe would spend a full day blanching, peeling, blending, and cooking homemade spaghetti sauce using my old family recipe. A full batch or maybe two would last us through the whole winter, just like it did for my mom, my grandma, and my granny.
My mom, Old Grandma, and Gran have shared lots of recipes with me over the years for everything from homemade apple butter to pickled beets to this spaghetti sauce. In fact, this was the only spaghetti sauce I ever ate until I was well into elementary school. It started with Granny, who is my father’s mother, but my mom and her mother liked it so much that they switched from their recipe to hers.
Old Grandma and her cooking were sort of famous in the small town near our home. She had cooked in many restaurants there over the previous thirty years, and everyone in the restaurant business knew her personally or at least knew of her.
My mom and dad had taken me to the restaurant for a rare lunch before some doctor’s appointment, and I ordered vegetable soup as it was one of my most favorite foods.
When the vegetable soup arrived, I took one sip and loudly announced that it was NOT as good as Old Grandma’s soup and I refused to eat it. My parents were understandably embarrassed by proud too. Old Grandma is and always has been an excellent cook, and her vegetable soup is famous throughout the town and beyond.
All this to say that it was a huge deal that Old Grandma abandoned her old family recipe in favor of Granny’s recipe. She doesn’t make it anymore, being that she’s turning 92 in a couple of months, but she made this spaghetti sauce from scratch for all the years of my childhood.
I’ve given this recipe to various friends over the years, and they’ve all loved it too, so I feel confident in saying this is the last spaghetti sauce recipe you’ll ever need. Try it!
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Grandma's Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
- 4 quarts tomatoes this is a volume, so use 128 fluid ounces if using canned tomatoes
- 5 sweet onions chopped coarsely, divided
- 1 1/2 stalks celery chopped coarsely
- 1/2 green pepper chopped coarsely
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- 1/2 tablespoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 teaspoons basil
- 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 9 ounces tomato paste
- 16 ounces mushrooms sliced
- Blend tomatoes, half of onions, celery, and green pepper in blender to desired level of chunkiness. We like our sauce fairly smooth, so we blend ours for a good long while on the chop setting.
- Transfer blended vegetables to a very large pot (at least 8 quarts). Add spices, tomato paste, mushrooms, and remaining onions. Cook for 3 hours, or until desired consistency is reached.
- Remove bay leaves.
- Preserve as desired. Makes 2 to 3 quarts.
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