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Easy Basic Spaghetti and Pizza Sauce Recipe

Recipes for Cooking

Speak with any Italian American, and they will tell you that their Nonna (Grandmother) has the BEST Italian Red Sauce (Gravy) for Sunday Dinner.

They will also tell you that Red Gravy that is used for pasta is actually different than the Red Sauce used for Pizza (Marinara).

For those of us who weren’t born Italian, the difference isn’t much of a difference at all (additions of Oregano or this or that). The differences are slight, and everyone’s tastes are different anyway, so seek out one Recipe you can Master, then alter it to your Family’s Tastes, depending on your heritage and palette.

Here, we’ll share our Basic Spaghetti Sauce Recipe that works well for both Pasta and Pizza:

This makes a large batch that is enough for freezing & leftovers.

What you will need:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Canned Tomato
  • Tomato Paste
  • Herbs, Spices
  • Bouillon Cubes or Better than Bouillon
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese or Rind
  • Olive Oil


  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 cups medium diced Onion
  • 5 cloves diced Garlic
  • 4 cans (28-ounce) crushed Tomatoes (you can use Puree if you prefer less chunks)
  • 1 can (12-ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Bouillon cubes (either chicken or beef)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons Parmesan cheese + Garnish


  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent and slightly browned, 3-4 minutes.
  • Add garlic and continue cooking, stirring constantly for a minute (use fresh garlic not jarred. Don’t cheat! It’s NOT worth it.)
  • Add the tomato paste and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add canned tomatoes, salt, sugar, pepper, basil, oregano, water and bouillon.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off the heat, add Parmesan cheese and let rest 10 minutes. (If you have a cheese rind, you can add it when you add the herbs and spices in the beginning).
  • Taste! Season to taste.
  • Serve with extra Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder or Crushed Red Pepper.

Once you Master the basics here, you can learn to make and add meatballs, sausage, chicken or beef chunks and create a myriad of Gourmet Dishes for your Family!

If you tried this Recipe and enjoyed it, let us know or Share with a friend!

If you are of Italian heritage and want to Share your Family’s Recipe or Tricks, let us know in the Comments Section below! We’d love to know Your Secrets to Cooking Italian!



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Posted in: Recipes

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