If there is one thing that my whole family loves, it’s Italian food. I am always looking for new ideas and recipes to satisfy our craving for Italian. Up until a few years ago, I always purchased the jarred spaghetti sauce, almost always with a coupon. It was fairly inexpensive and made for a fast meal on busy nights. When our family started growing, I noticed that we needed to use more than one jar of sauce at every meal, especially if I needed leftovers for my husband’s lunch the next day. Plus, we have some sort of pasta at least once a week, sometimes twice. So, I began making my own sauce.
I don’t really know why I wasn’t making my own sauce all along. For one thing, I grew up on only homemade sauce. My mom almost never used a jar of spaghetti sauce. Secondly, it is much more cost efficient to make it. The ingredients cost less than two jars of sauce, which is what I had been using.
So, we are now a homemade spaghetti sauce family. I use this recipe for spaghetti, lasagna, baked ziti, and just about any other dish that needs a red sauce. I still resort to the jar every once in a while, especially if there is a fantastic sale. But more likely than not, I am either making this sauce or defrosting it from my freezer.
- One large can of crushed tomatoes
- One can tomato paste
- One can of diced tomatoes
- One small onion, chopped fine
- One tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion. Sauté until the onions are just starting to cook.
- Add the tomato paste and half a can of water. Stir until combined.
- Add the diced tomatoes and the spinach. I always mash these a bit with a potato masher so my kids don’t detect them as well.
- Add the crushed tomatoes.
- Add the spices, cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Stir it together and let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes. Simmer it longer if possible to concentrate the flavors.