Great Grandma’s Pasta Sauce

  • Great Grandma’s Pasta Sauce has been passed down through the generations and it originated from my husband’s Italian great great grandmother. It is the most delicious, rich, flavorful, pasta sauce I’ve ever had in my entire life and I can’t wait for you to try it!

    If you want to taste what the Italians are so blessed with over in Italy, I suggest you give this pasta sauce a try. You won't ever go back to your plain 'ol marinara that you thought was good. This sauce here is genius. And genuine.

    What makes great grandma’s pasta sauce so special?

    Every Christmas and every get together, Jason’s grandmother used to make her famous pasta dish.

    It’s made with this homemade pasta sauce that simmers on the stove for hours.

    This pasta sauce is like liquid gold.

    It’s the most delicious, rich, flavorful, pasta sauce I’ve ever had in my entire life.

    This pasta sauce was actually from Jason’s great grandmother who came over from Italy. YOU KNOW it’s good when it’s from a legit Italian. Not some Chef Boyardee character.

    The secret to this sauce is the simmering process.

    Low and slow, baby. That’s how all the flavors develop and marry one another in a sweet, luscious concoction.

    If you want to taste what the Italians are so blessed with over in Italy, I suggest you give this pasta sauce a try. You won’t ever go back to your plain ‘ol marinara that you thought was good. This sauce here is genius.

    And genuine.

    If you want to taste what the Italians are so blessed with over in Italy, I suggest you give this pasta sauce a try. You won't ever go back to your plain 'ol marinara that you thought was good. This sauce here is genius. And genuine.

    Don’t hate on great grandma’s pasta sauce

    As you can see in the comments section below, there was some haterade on this pasta sauce.

    There is a multitude of ways to make pasta sauce. I am not claiming this is THE right and ONLY way to make it.

    This is how Jason’s family makes it.

    If this isn’t the way “your” Italian grandmother or mother or whatever makes it…please don’t yell at me and tell me so.

    Recipes are passed down from generations for a reason.

    Every recipe is different. Every recipe is modified for each family.

    There no “right” way to make something. That is why recipes bring such joy in the kitchen; they can be changed up.

    I’m bringing this up because of comments I’ve gotten about this recipe and thus have turned off commenting for that very reason.

    If you want to taste what the Italians are so blessed with over in Italy, I suggest you give this pasta sauce a try. You won't ever go back to your plain 'ol marinara that you thought was good. This sauce here is genius. And genuine.

    This pasta sauce is so easy to make!

    You literally need the most basic of ingredients:

    • Ground beef
    • Tomato puree
    • Garlic
    • Spices
    • Fresh basil
    • Water

    Can I freeze this pasta sauce?

    To be honest, I haven’t tried to freeze this before but I know others who have and it’s fine! I would put it in one of those plastic takeout containers and reheat on the stovetop (like defrost it then plop it into a saucepan).

    Can this pasta sauce be made in the slow cooker?

    Technically, yes, because the idea is to cook it low and slow. I haven’t done it myself but I know others have done it so I’d put it on low for 3-4 hours!

    So many great recipes that you could use great grandma’s pasta sauce recipe in:

    Grab the recipe for great grandma’s pasta sauce below and be prepared to get wrapped up in comfort!

    This pasta sauce is like liquid gold. It's the most delicious, rich, flavorful, pasta sauce I've ever had in my entire life. This pasta sauce was actually from Jason's great grandmother who came over from Italy.

    5 from 2 votes
    Great Grandma's Pasta Sauce
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    2 hrs
    Total Time
    2 hrs 10 mins
     
    If you want to taste what the Italians are so blessed with over in Italy, I suggest you give this pasta sauce a try. You won’t ever go back to your plain ‘ol marinara that you thought was good. This sauce here is beyond genuine and you will love it!
    Course: Main Course, Main Entree
    Cuisine: Italian
    Servings: 4 -6
    Calories: 263 kcal
    Ingredients
    • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef OR 90/10 ground beef
    • 1: 6- oz can tomato paste
    • 6 oz water
    • 1: 24- oz jar tomato puree
    • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
    • Pinch of dried oregano
    • Pinch of onion powder
    • Pinch of garlic powder
    • Handful of fresh basil, chopped
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    Instructions
    1. In a large stockpot, saute garlic until soft and fragrant in 2 tbsp. of olive oil, about 2 minutes.
    2. Throw your meat in with the garlic and brown until meat has been thoroughly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Pour in the tomato paste, tomato puree, and seasoning, including the fresh basil. Stir to mix well. With the 6 oz. can from the tomato paste, fill that with water and pour it in the stockpot as well.
    4. Let mixture simmer, uncovered, for 2 or more hours (the longer the better, but minimum 2 hours), stirring occasionally.
    5. Serve hot over fresh pasta.

    Recipe Video

    Recipe Notes

    A lot of people have asked about freezing this. I have not personally done this myself but I believe if you freeze this in an airtight container or a jar, it will be ok for up to 2 months. Do not freeze it immediately after making it. You'll want it to cool to room temperature before putting the jar or container in the freezer to prevent cracking.

    On making this in the slow cooker: I've never made this in the slow cooker before, however, I believe it's pretty do-able. This is what I would do: brown your meat, put it in the insert of the crockpot, then add all the other ingredients, stir, cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1-2 hours.

    Nutrition Facts
    Great Grandma's Pasta Sauce
    Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
    Calories 263 Calories from Fat 81
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 9g 14%
    Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
    Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
    Sugars 15g
    Protein 23g 46%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

  • 136 Comments
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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    Comments

  • Sue McCrimmon says:

    Julie, Sounds good. I, too am JUST a housewife, but I somehow manage to keep my family fed and happy. I appreciate people like you who are willing to share family recipes.
    To Sande: I have no idea why you are so bitter, but I will pray for you. By the way, it’s “gush” all over you. I don’t believe there is such a word as “guzz”, but I could be wrong. I’ll have to look it up.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thanks, Sue!!

  • Jennifer says:

    This is exactly how my mom and her mom makes their sauce! I LOVE it! Sorry for the mean comments you received, so uncalled for.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yay! So glad to hear this!

  • DeeAnne Hedrick DeDeurwaerder says:

    You are so right… it’s simply delicious!!! Thank you for the time to put this recipe on here for All to enjoy!
    Sincerely,
    DeeAnne Hedrick DeDeurwaerder

  • Cindy McCampbell says:

    Hi Julie,
    I have always used canned spaghetti sauce until I made some from scratch. It was good but I want something better! When I found this I thought maybe this is it!! When I made the sauce before I left out the tomato paste and I used tomato sauce not puree. Maybe that’s what’s missing.

    My husband likes it thick and rich! So I’m going to try this. I don’t think I could make a better one.

    I’m sorry people were so ugly about this recipe! It seems like everywhere you go people always have to tell you their way! It would be a boring world of everyone made the same anything!!! Well I say live a little and try something new! You never know it might better!!

    I’m really interested in your cooking for two cookbook! It’s just my husband and I and I’m always ready to learn more about cooking!!! 😉 Does Amazon have it where you can get a feel of what’s in the book? I have a very picky hubby unfortunately! He doesn’t like cheese or anything creamy. Can you believe that????

    Anyway, I will make this sauce and I’m definitely going to look through your recipes!

    Have a terrific day!!! 😘

  • Deborah says:

    Hi sorry for the stupid question….this sauce looks amazing but would I ruin the recipe if i made it without the sugar and with some red pepper flakes instead? My family normally prefers spicy over sweet when I purchase canned sauces so thought I would ask….

    • Julie Wampler says:

      You wouldn’t ruin it but I do believe that it’ll be very tart for you without it. Try it without and see what happens; at least you can adjust sugar to your own taste! And yes, red pepper flakes would be great.

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