Organic and yummy red sauce, or as we call it in the south, spaghetti sauce

So thanks to the plethora of organic veggies my “bro” brought over last week, I got to make spaghetti sauce from scratch (we had a TON of tomatoes). I had never done this before, so I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. There’s not a much bigger feeling of defeat than 1) when you take most of the afternoon cooking a meal that turns out to be inedible by not only the humans of the house, but the animals as well, 2) you have twins that are pissed that their food sucks and are freaking out, thus leading into 3) waiting for any food delivery you choose is going to feel like a LIFETIME!

However, thanking the high heavens above, the sauce turned out awesome! I loved it, the kids killed it, and the hubs truly meant it when he said it was good (because wifeys, we all can see through their souls when our husbands lie about their food being yummy because they don’t want to hurt our feelings). And the best part?? I made a double-batch – on purpose – so I could freeze some for one day down the road. Score!

One of the great tips about this recipe, is how to sneak even more veggies into your kids’ meals. I took some organic zucchini and grated it into the pot and VOILA! I also added in some ground chuck towards the end of the cooking time, since my husband refuses to have a meatless meal (he’s a steak and potato kind of guy).

So, since it turned out so good, I want to share it with you! There’s only one problem… I’m HORRIBLE about sticking to strict measurements. I cook as I go, as I feel. So, keep that in mind.

And actually, there are two problems… I was so excited and so hungry that I absolutely failed at capturing a shot of the completed product. However, I think my son can attest to the fact that it was pretty damn good!

Wyatt spaghetti.jpg

Here’s my basic, red sauce recipe! Let me know any adaptations you make from this!


3 cups water

  • start with about 2 cups, then as your sauce cooks down, add more water

Olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

10 small Roma tomatoes

  • 10 ish, give or take a few (I failed to count, sorry!)

1 can tomato sauce, no salt added

1 medium zucchini, grated

  • or however much you want to add. keep in mind that it thickens the sauce up quite a bit, so you may need to add more water, depending on your preference

¼ cup grated asiago and parmesan cheeses

2 tbs minced garlic

1 to 2 tbs Basil

1 to 2 tbs Oregano

½ to 1 tbs Thyme

  • half the amount you use of each the basil and oregano

½ to 1 tbs Rosemary

  • half the amount you use of each the basil and oregano

1 and ½ tbs sugar




  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Chop the stem end of the tomatoes off, being careful not to take too much meat of the tomato. Slice an X in the other end. Toss them in the pot of boiling water, letting them hang out there until you see the skin start to wrinkly and/or peel back where you sliced the X. This takes just a few short minutes. Fill a bowl with ice and cold water, then set beside the stove. Remove the tomatoes and toss them in the ice bath for just a few seconds. Use your thumb to push the meat of the tomato out of the skin, through the X.
  2. Heat 2-3 turns of your olive oil in a Dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic until fairly translucent and they become fragrant.
  3. Add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices and water. Bring to a boil. Add zucchini, cheese and sugar.
  4. Bring your pot down to a simmer and stir it occasionally, being sure to add a little water at a time as your sauce thickens. Continue to mash the tomatoes more and more, each time you stir the sauce. Once they are easily smashed and flattened, take a hand mixer and blend the sauce until it’s no longer chunky.
  5. Let simmer for at least an hour (mine cooked for about three hours total).

Add in whatever kind of ground meat of your choosing for the last 30 minutes of your cook time, being sure to brown the meat FIRST, of course. Then, ladle over pasta and enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Organic and yummy red sauce, or as we call it in the south, spaghetti sauce

  1. I am so proud of you Shelby. I can remember that you could not believe that our boys were served a home cooked meal nightly when they were growing up. You have adjusted to the family life in an awesome way! Love you, Vicki Smith


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