My mom – for all her wonderful cooking – never made her own spaghetti sauce. She made her own lasagna sauce, but never spaghetti. So I (mostly) did the same; I just found a jar of sauce I liked. And I kept using it. Once in a while I’d try a spaghetti sauce recipe because I was feeling adventurous (or stubborn …), but I wasn’t happy with it.
I mean – what self-respecting farm girl am I if I can’t make a decent spaghetti sauce!? It can’t be that hard! Can it? You just stick stuff in a pot and it magically comes out tasting amazing! Why would a store-bought sauce be any better than homemade. And yet it wasn’t – my homemade was way worse than a commercially produced product.
And then I just “winged it”. I decided I was going to make lasagna, but of course when I went to the store I forgot the recipe for sauce I had printed off the internet, so I didn’t know what ingredients I needed, and while I wanted to make lasagna I didn’t know what I needed for that either …
So I bought a ton of different cheeses, tomato-y things, and some lasagna noodles and hoped for the best!
And it WORKED, people!!
So since I felt I had an epiphany, I thought I would add my own lasagna recipe to the mass of others (and spaghetti sauce – because we had a bit of sauce left over from making lasagna so I put that on some spaghetti noodles and voila – “awesome sauce” as they say!).
I will say – my downfall was probably that I wasn’t cooking down and simmering the sauce long enough. I would get too impatient and put things together, heat it up, and expect to have an awesome sauce (now I can’t stop!). But since I had so many other things to do the day I made this, I left the pot simmering on the stove for almost two hours while I worked at other things, which let all the flavors meld together.
Lesson learned – let it simmer!
Want the recipe – check it out!
Pasta Sauce for Lasagna and Spaghetti
The first time I made a pasta sauce I liked!
- 2 lbs pork Italian sausage (or preferred ground meat such as ground beef or Italian sausage)
- medium onion (about 1 c)
- 3-5 cloves minced garlic (could substitute with 1-2 tb garlic powder)
- 2, 29 oz tomato sauce
- 1, 28 oz petite diced tomatoes in juice
- about 1/4 c Italian seasoning (about 1/4 oz)
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 2-3 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 c sugar
Directions1. Cook and crumble meat. Add onions and garlic until all are cooked. Drain. 2. Add in all other sauce ingredients – tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings and sugar. 3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Considering I didn’t know what I was doing, the sauce turned out pretty good! But I also didn’t really know what I was doing for the whole lasagna … I had an idea in my head from a couple other recipes, and here’s what I did. That turned out pretty good too!
Continue on if you want to turn your “vat” of sauce into lasagna!
I had no idea if it would turn out, but guessing on ingredients turned out to be a good thing - because it was amazing!
- 1 batch of “Pasta Sauce for Lasagna and Spaghetti”
- 1 box of lasagna noodles
- 2, 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1/2-3/4 shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 tb garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2-1 tsp oregano leaves
- 2 tb parsley flakes
- 2, 24-pack or 4, 12-pack sliced cheese such as Swiss, Mozzarella, and/or Provolone
- 2-4 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
Directions1. Make batch of sauce. During the last 10-20 minutes of simmering, cook noodles and prepare cheese filling. 2. Mix ricotta, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and parsley together. Can add some Parmesan if desired. 3. To layer – put down a thin layer of sauce in a 9×13 pan. Layer noodles, cheese mixture, and sliced cheese. Repeat layers of sauce, noodles, cheese mixture, and sliced (or shredded mozzarella) until it’s close to the top of the pan. 4. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Cook at 350 degrees until bubbly and cheese is melted (about 30 minutes).
To cook frozen pan – let thaw and bake at 350 degrees, covered, for about 45 minutes, then remove aluminum foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until dish is bubbly and cheese looks melted and toasted.
We want to know!! Can spaghetti sauce with meat be canned?? Did you try our awesome sauce? What did you think!? Let us know in the comments!
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Some of the tools I use and love for this recipe! I am not a Pampered Chef consultant, but I have used their products and been super happy with the quality and results. Some even come with a lifetime guarantee! Just so happens that these products are PC, even though sometimes I do branch out.