Mom’s Meat Sauce

This recipe is my version of my mother’s meat sauce. It’s a serious comfort food. The flavor is pure and lightly seasoned, and the richness added by the broth and meats is heavenly. This is best served over thick spaghetti cooked al dente. And don’t forget the Italian bread!

This is a recipe for a large quantity of sauce. I make this in a very large 8 quart pot, so that I can freeze several meals-worth for the future.

Sauce Ingredients

  • 6 28oz cans of tomato purée
  • 3 18oz cans of tomato paste
  • 2 32oz boxes of chicken broth
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste (8 tsp +)
  • Black pepper to taste (3 tsp +)
  • 2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • 3 lbs meatballs (recipe below)
  • 2 lbs sweet Italian sausages


  1. Soften diced onions in hot oil, add minced garlic and red pepper flakes.
  2. Add red wine, simmer a few minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste. Let caramelize by waiting, turning, repeating. Do this for several minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth, blend, simmer a few minutes.
  5. Add tomato purée, dried herbs and spices, salt, pepper, and sugar. Blend to s smooth consistency with a stick blender.
  6. Simmer for several hours, stirring often and keeping sauce off the sides of the pot. Use very low heat.
  7. Add raw meatballs 3 hours in.
  8. After at least 30 minutes, stir gently and add sausages, halved.
  9. Simmer on very low heat another 2 ½ hours (6 hours total cooking time)

Michael’s Meatballs

  • 1 lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbs Italian seasonings (basil, oregano, garlic powder, etc.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-1 ½ cup bread crumbs


  1. Blend liquids first, then add meat and breadcrumbs.
  2. Blend completely. Make small golf ball sized meatballs by hand, and add to simmering sauce one at a time.
  3. Let simmer 30 minutes before stirring sauce.