Family-Favorite Pasta Sauce
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (6 ounces) Italian tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- Hot cooked pasta of your choice
- 1. In a large saucepan, cook the sausage, onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, parsley, brown sugar, vinegar and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours or until flavors are blended. Serve with pasta.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary.
3/4 cup (calculated without pasta): 169 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 884mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 8g protein.
Jul 31, 2019A very tweak-able recipe, which is great.
Dec 31, 1969
I honestly don't believe Frank would use Johnsonville Sausage.
Sep 18, 2017
Good, tasty sauce, but mine came out way too thick. It needed more liquid. It was more like a sloppy joe filling than a pasta sauce, and I only simmered it for an hour. I replaced some of the sausage with beef, and also added in some chopped peppers. Might try this again but increase the water a bit, or substitute some beef broth.
Feb 28, 2015
Very good, versatile. Especially liked the addition of balsamic vinegar.
Dec 25, 2014
I love the flavor of this pasta sauce! I use it in my lasagna.
Oct 26, 2016
Very good! The brown sugar and balsamic vinegar make it very flavorful. This is a great recipe as written and is a good base for variations. I make this all the time and have settled on this variation as our favorite: I use hot Italian sausage, casings removed and browned (I do not use oil since not needed for this type of sausage). The hot Italian sausage gives it a little more kick (but only use if you like spicy). I add one finely diced carrot and one finely diced celery stalk with the onions and garlic. If I have fresh mushrooms, I slice them and add with other vegetables. In place of water, I used half beef or reduced sodium chicken broth and half red wine. I put the wine and broth in before all the tomatoes and sauce and let it reduce down in the meat and veges. Then I add the tomatoes, sauce and seasoning. I like sauce, so I use one 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, two 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes with seasonings, one 6oz can tomato paste, and one 8oz can of tomato sauce. I add more seasoning sometimes using packaged spaghetti sauce seasoning mix (usually two packets). I use dried parsley since I rarely have fresh on hand. I still add the basil and Italian seasonings even if I use the packaged seasoning mix. It just seems that more seasoning is needed for the quantity of sauce. Sometimes I double the brown sugar and balsamic since I essentially doubled the sauce with adding both crushed and diced tomatoes. This is the only sauce I make now - the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar really make a difference in the flavor (along with the red wine!). Using the crushed tomatoes in addition to the diced tomatoes makes it both chunky and saucy!
Sep 11, 2014
Very good. I'm not a huge sausage lover, but this recipe is delicious. I did rinse the meat after browning and added a couple of fresh chopped tomatoes. Will make this again.
Sep 7, 2014
Substitute for turkey Italian sausage. Company worthy.
Jul 15, 2014
This was a really good sauce. I substituted turkey Italian sausage like several other reviewers did.
Jul 13, 2014
I used turkey Italian sausage but otherwise followed the recipe. I made this ahead and froze it to serve to the grandkids. All the kids loved it! Personally, I prefer an unsweetened sauce, so I gave it a 4-star rating. I'll certainly make it again for the grandkids, though.