Top Secret Spaghetti Sauce!

Ohhh friends. You’re going to need to sit down for this one.

Because I am sharing with you highly confidential, top secret, coveted information.


Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

This sauce is truly one of a kind. It is from scratch. It is dinner party staple. It is requested for special occasions and week nights alike. And it is gourmet enough to serve to even the most impressive guests.

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

Ladies and gentlemen…this sauce takes six hours to cook. And believe me when I say…it is worth every gosh darn minute!

It is not gluten free. It is not vegan. It is not Specific Carb Diet friendly. But it is the comfiest of comfort food. So do with that what you will.

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

And one quick note: as with all recipes, the dish only turns out as good as the ingredients that go into it. SO that means: buy quality, organic ingredients.

For example: the tomato paste and canned tomatoes are the stars of the show. So spend the extra couple bucks on the tomato products imported from Italy. I know it sounds crazy, but there is truly a difference in taste, texture and flavor. Get fresh spices. Top quality meat. Fresh spaghetti, if possible. This is one of those dishes you want the best ingredients for!

SO withtout further ado….

Here’s What You Need! (Makes 10-12 servings)

2 large onions, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (12 oz each) tomato paste (I like Cento brand)
1 (28 oz can) crushed or diced tomatoes (I like San Marzano tomatoes from Italy)
11 cups water
5 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried oregano

1 lb. 90/10 chuck or sirloin, ground
1 lb. Italian Sausage (sweet italian)
1 cup parmesean cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic
1 large egg

Extra Large stock pot or Le Creuset
Good Chef’s knife
Measuring spoons and cups
Large mixing bowl
Can Opener

Saute the onions and garlic in oil. Add paste, tomatoes, water and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. (Covered with a lid)

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery
Before adding the meatballs. (It nearly overflowed!!)

Meanwhile, make the meatballs by hand-mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl. Tightly pack the meatballs so they don’t fall apart in the sauce. Should make 24 LARGE meatballs.

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

Add the meatballs after the hard boil stops.

Cook 6-8 hours. Stir gently every 10-15 minutes. Add more seasonings. (I always add more salt and pepper to taste, and Italian seasonings.)

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery
I like to skim this top layer of grease.

Lastly, I like to skim off the dark red layer of grease that rises to the top from the sausage. It just looks more pleasing to the eye. Don’t put it down the drain though! Store it in a glass container, and then discard once it cools and hardens!

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

Serve over fresh pasta, and spinkle with fresh parmesean cheese!

(Other serving ideas: over a baked potato. On a hoagie-style bun. With an egg poached in the sauce, like “Eggs in Hell.” Over zucchini noodles.)

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery
Look at those meatballs!

OK – this sauce is one for the books. Yes, it takes a long time. Yes, it takes lots of love. But dannnnnng is it worth it!

You can truly tell the difference between a “from scratch” sauce, and a “from a jar” sauce. There is simply no comparison.

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

The depth of flavors is just incredible. The garlic has infused every little bit of tomato. The meatballs have become melt-in-your-mouth. And the intensity of the tomato is bar-none.

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

Every time my mom has a dinner party, this is the dish she always makes. She gets some fresh pasta from the mom-and-pop Italian shop, and then this incredible sauce.

Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery
Splurge for the FRESH pasta!

So do yourself a favor. Take a day — plan to be home all day to tend to this delicious sauce — clean the house, work from home, give yourself a mani-pedi. But just make this sauce. Freeze half. Give some away. I promise you will have found a new favorite meal.

And sorry mom, for spilling the secret recipe!!!


Top Secret Family Recipe Spaghetti Sauce! By: BeautyBeyondBones #italian #food #cooking #pasta #yum #edrecovery

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5



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183 responses to “Top Secret Spaghetti Sauce!”

  1. I love homemade sauce. My Mom used to use that Cento paste for her own. I can make my own sauce. It’s unique. Nothing crazy. Just olive oil, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños and onions and whatever seasoning I add. Excellent Caralyn!

    • Thanks Derek!! Ooh I love the addition of jalapeños!! Yum! Hugs and love xox

    • Looks delicious! To bring it to the next level I start with sausage links cut In half and fry them to they are brown not cooked through in olive oil. Then take them out and fry the onions and garlic in the oil and sausage grease. Then add my sausage back in and continue with the recipie. So good with the depth of flavor sausage adds.

      • That’s just the way I make it…Sunday Gravy style! I also throw in the meatballs and spare ribs.

  2. OM Gosh! Of the many wonderful recipes you have shared with your readers, this one sounds the most fantastic! Not sure I could pull this one off. So time consuming but worth it I can tell by the photos. I would skim that layer off too, Caralyn. Your mother may be in a bad mood next time you visit! 😬🤭❤️

    • Thanks so much John! Oh yes it is MOST delicious!! Hahahah yeah she’s going to have some choice words for me I’m sure! Hahah jk jk I totally got her blessing. We actually made it together over FaceTime!! 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    • Hi John! Haha oh yes – a mouth watering recipe indeed! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much! Oh yes – comfort food at its most fundamental! Haha hugs to you! Xox

  3. Now that’s what I’m talking about!!! 😁This is like my grandmother’s old school original and the best tomato sauce; she always made it constantly and we still couldn’t get enough of it! How much will you charge to make it by the kettle and ship? I’m serious!!! Yea, I hear ya you’re too busy! Another Ohioan Paul Newman that I met many years ago was really a Midwesterner with a flair for making Italian sauce and gourmet dishes, and as we know what sprung out of that was Newman’s Own. So, I figure with the way things are I’ll still be making up my own OK stuff now and then, but actually being in a hurry I like Newman’s commercial sauces which I just had a last jar of it that I put to good use the other day with tricolor rotini! Imported fresh grated Parmesan cheese and Italian bread and I was going for broke or until I got stuffed whichever came first; and you can guess how that went I’m sure! Thanks for making me hungry anyway!
    🤣🐕😁😜😂😂😉👍 🇺🇸 🙏 🙏 😇 😇

    • Haha thanks so much Lawrence! Oh wow that sounds like an absolutely delectable meal!! Hugs and love xox

      • Hey if I put my mind to it I’ll give your recipe a whirl and I’m sure it will work out fine; how can it not? Just that grandmothers and moms, wives or even a sister I think give it that special something the TLC touch which is mostly in my head but it works for me, LOL! Years back this kind of thing was a regular staple dinner with so many Italian relatives around and even an uncle that owned a restaurant but sadly for me their times came to be with our Lord and I feel like I’m more and more disconnected from so much good more all the time. Have to make due now and just grit my teeth and use those memories along with feeling good about making a home-cooked meal and then sitting down to really enjoy, and reminisce a bit too! You’re right and thanks it was a yummy meal and my dog I think she either thinks Italian or actually likes my cooking because she wanted seconds too! 🤣🐕😁👍 🇺🇸 No kidding let me know if you get the notion to try a small batch sale; whatever it would require, a hundred or two hundred whatever! As a lady I dated years ago from the Mid-West a native Irish, English and Swedish PhD medical doctor with family roots that went back to the 1700’s, as she put it, a sauce like that is the mother’s milk to an Italian! I actually made up a batch for her on a visit which she really enjoyed as much as me, actually more, LOL! I mean the sauce; me, she thought was a character! 🤣 👍

      • I’m sure it will be that too, so just have to give it some thought and prayer. I’ve been thinking on it. Might have to sleep on it a bit more too! ✝️ 🤗 👍

    • Thanks Katie! Yeah it really is the comfiest of comfort foods!! Haha Hugs and love xox

    • Yes!! Haha i know the dish you’re talking about! Haha Hugs and love xox

      • Surprised when you cook this good no one has wifed you up. Haha.

        My grandma would make one pot dishes on the fire while we cut wood for the whole reservation.

      • Yeah. I was surprised she’d bring a cooler and have three meals out of a Dutch oven. Everyone loves the mesquite wood here. Natives use the Juniper. Wood cutting if more of a harvest of the old ones that fall naturally. Clearing the floor for the young plants. My step dad was a firefighter most of the year and then took three months off to do this for his reservation. Apaches. Kind of wild but, reverent.

      • Oh. That was the other thing. I think, umm. Italy. Has the volcanic soil similar to that beach in Iceland. I’ll have to look again to confirm. The difference in tomatoes is nutrients. Ah. I do remember correctly. Cento uses San Marzano tomatoes from volcanic soil.

      • My grandpa tried to farm the san marzano in Mexico after a few years of core sampling all over the continent. I think, he had one successful crop in ten years. Then he sold it. Haha. I believe it was just, to try it. Very umm. Curious. Like, “Ha I did it. I’ll go do something else .”

      • I think food is a language. It finds the feeling and expresses it. I’m glad after everything you’ve overcome you can still speak this language.

      • Look at how long it took to get that statement. Ugh. Haha. It’s why I get nothing doing. 😂 What is that, 3 seconds on camera? Haha

    • Hahah you’re right! Nothing tastes better than something made with love! Hugs and love xox

  4. I cannot wait to make this! I bought a nice red wine yesterday and a Paul Newman pasta sauce that I planned to doctor up but I love this recipe. I’ve got my schedule planned for Saturday!

    • hahah me too C — there’s something so incredibly comforting about spaghetti!! 🙂 yum! sure thing! Hugs and love xox

  5. Oh, I love to make long-simmering meat sauce using ground beef and Italian sausage but have never made meatballs. A class of wine whilst cooking is pleasant, too! ☺️
    Love your recipe… and it looks so delicious!! Wow!

    • Isn’t it so great?! And I’m with ya! A glass of vino is good for the soul! Thank you! Hugs and love xox

  6. I always had this idea that when I had a place of my own I’d make spaghetti sauce over the stove for hours on end sampling as I went. The reality is I’m content with cheapest sauce at the time I go to the grocery store and pour it into a plastic container right before I drain the pasta in my Israeli made colander. Though I’m half Swedish and the food tends to be bland. I’ll have to try this at least once.

    • Oh that’s awesome! Thanks friend! I didnt know you were half Swedish! That’s so cool! I visited about 8 years ago and it was such a beautiful place!!! Hugs and love xox

  7. This sounds so yummy, I’m planning it for dinner this week. I believe I have seen this brand of tomatoes at our local Nob Hill grocers. Thank you for sharing! 🥰

    • thank you! oh yes – this brand is great — but truly any brand of italian San Marzano tomatoes will do! It really makes a difference! happy cooking! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much! Haha yeah – it was more of a “set it and forget it” type of thing. But it certainly made my apartment smell good! And totally worth it! Hugs and love xox

  8. Gosh, I’m so ready to eat this! The wonderful thing about your recipe is it has very little sugar. Jarred sauces have so much. Can’t wait to try it! Cheers.

    • thank you Karen! oh this was such a treat! and yes! i agree – homemade is always best! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  9. Mmmmm, I love making a slowly-simmered meat sauce for spaghetti though I have never tried making meatballs. I will have to try making your formerly-secret recipe! Have you ever used hot Italian sausage? Adds a real kick!

    • Isn’t it so great! It really is true, great things take time!! Ooh really?! I haven’t but I bet it would be terrific in this!! Thanks for stopping by, Steve! Happy cooking! Hugs and love xox

    • thank you so much! oh nice! I hope it passes her test! glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  10. This looks amazing, thank you so much for sharing!!! Instead of making the meatballs can I just brown the Italian sausage and ground beef and add it to the sauce?😋

    • Thank you so much Paige! it was really a hit! yes – that is definitely an option! it will change the texture a bit, but it will taste just as good! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  11. Oh, this looks SO GOOD! I sent the ingredients and recipe to my wife. She already makes a mean spaghetti, but this certainly deserves a try!!!!!! Thanks for sharing that TOP SECRET HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL FOR YOUR EYES ONLY recipe with us!

    • Thank you Galen!! Oh my gosh – this one is requested ALL THE TIME! hahahah too funny!! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  12. Hate to tell you, but CENTO is NOT imported from Italy. It’s California and doesn’t have the DOP stamp.

    • Thank you so much Bill! Oh my gosh yes it is truly phenomenal! Absolutely! Hugs and love xox

  13. Yum on the spaghetti sauce and thanks for sharing the recipe. I think I could eat the pictures!

  14. If cook the meat separate and add it at the end. How long do I cook the sauce for. Don’t want to cook the sauce for 8hrs

    • Hi Carmen, thank you for your question – i haven’t tried it cooking the meat separately, or cooking it quicker. My guess is that if you are cooking the meat separately, you could add less water and cook it for just a few hours until it reduces, but I have not tried this, and the depth of flavor comes from cooking everything together low and slow, and letting the meat’s juices penetrate the tomatoes. But that would be my suggestion if you don’t want to cook it for eight hours. Hugs and love xox

      • Hi, not sure if you covered this already. What is the secret to thickening the sauce? Does it need to sit for some time after cooking? Also, are you simmering with or without a lid?

  15. Speaking from a raised Italian mother, oregano is one spice that does not go in tomato sauce. Basil is a must!!! Everyone loves my sauce?

  16. Currently making it now. Hope it turns out and good as my grandpa’s and my dads. Three hours in taste tested it. It could use some more salt and pepper and garlic. I added more salt and pepper and minced garlic now.

    • oh that’s so exciting! thank you for letting me know! i hope you enjoy it, Dan! Hugs and love xox

  17. I am making this now. Two hours in and it is smelling absolutely devine (can smell it all over the house). Am hoping to be able to freeze 2 containers.

  18. I am making this at this time and 4 hours in, the entire house is smelling absolutely amazing. Taste tested and had to add a bit more salt and pepper. Can’t wait for dinner tonight. Hoping to be able to freeze 2 containers for later.

    • Hi Audrey, oh yay!!! I’m so happy to hear that! i hope you all loved it! 🙂 and yes – it certainly makes a lot, so there will be plenty to freeze! 🙂 thanks for sharing your success! Hugs and love xox

  19. Wow…. the smell through out my house took me back… way back to mom cooking the all day sauce … ahhh… back to when the spaghetti and meatballs fed the family of 8 kids… Now today this grand pot of goodness was just for me and hubby… it was suppose to be tomorrow nights dinner but the aroma demanded to be eaten today ! I will tell you the only thing I added was a piece of Parmesan rind ! Thanks for the trip down memory lane…. oh and mom… she turn 96 on January 8th 😊

  20. I make a version of this, but I will try yours. Had to buy a jar today because I hadn’t planned ahead and it didn’t have any flavor! Thanks for the like on my blog.

  21. I love that you mentioned using on potatoes or poaching an egg in it. I love using spaghetti sauce for both. This looks like an awesome recipe that I’m going too have to try soon!

  22. I would like to see some comments from people who have actually tried this recipe. Sounds amazing but would like hear from someone who has eaten it.

    • Hi Jill, the feedback that I have received is terrific! I hope you give this a try and love it too! Hugs and love xox

  23. What variety of onions do you use for the sauce? Also, for the meatballs, what kind of Parmesan do you use? Is it the grated kind in the plastic shaker container or is it shredded or flaked?

    • Hi Corey, thanks for reaching out. I used a yellow onion. And the parmesan was freshly grated by my grocery store. I find that the kind that comes pre-packages has some sort of stabilizer in it that impacts the way it melts. So I prefer the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Hugs and love xox

  24. Ok first-I don’t ever comment on recipes-even ones I like. But I had to comment-I made this tonight for dinner and it BLEW MY MIND. Oh my goodness thank you for sharing!!!! Best spaghetti sauce I’ve ever made and I’ve been cooking for 20 years!

    • Hi Julie! Oh my gosh YAY!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! That seriously makes me so happy! 🙂 Thanks for making my day! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks George! Yes – it should think a little as it cooks! hope you enjoy it! Hugs and love xox

  25. So there’s really no comments of people actually enjoying the sauce other than about 2-3 if that. I was going to make this recipe, but because of the lack of comments of people actually trying it, I am very hesitant.. Also, if you are going to do food blogs, less pictures of you and more of your food production would be great.

    • Hi Vanessa. Thanks for your feedback. This is my most popular recipe on Pinterest, with literally hundreds of thousands of repins. As for the photos of me – this blog is a way to connect with me. Perhaps you don’t know my story. But who i am and overcoming anorexia is why I started this blog. Showing myself and offering the hope that total and complete healing is possible is why I do what I do. So if you don’t like personal photos, perhaps another food blog would be best for you 🙂 thanks For stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    • I made this sauce and froze it as it was a lot for 2 people. It’s a great sauce. Thanks for posting.

      • Thank you John! I appreciate you sharing that! Yes- this definitely feeds a crowd! We always have sone in our freezer too. (I think that’s a definite plus for the recipe!) glad you enjoyed it! Hugs and love xox

  26. I made your secret sauce yesterday and I can’t thank you enough for sharing! I had a pretty good family recipe that we have used for years and honestly yours blew mine out of the water! So I will be making this for mom and sister and I am sure they will agree our family recipe will need to be retired! I don’t usually comment at all on stuff like this but I am so grateful for you sharing this amazing recipe I wanted to tell you thank you and give you the appreciation you deserve! Also on a side note, I read through some comments and dang some people can be assholes! Who are they to critique how you post on your blog? The pictures are awesome and I think you have one of the best blogs I have seen. Your purpose is honerable and you are a good person willing to share your life with others! Keep doing what you are doing because you are great at it and for the first time I didn’t just get the recipe
    And get out as I normally do. Your words drew me in and kept my interest to keep reading. So thank you and I hope you continue to inspire people in such a positive way. ❤️ Jennie

    • Oh my gosh THANK YOU JENNIE!! this seriously made my day. SO glad you loved it and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend! Hugs and love xox

  27. Hi, what is the secret to thickening the sauce? I made it last week and it was still thin after cooking for 6 hours. Trying it again this evening. Does the sauce need to cool a bit to thicken?

    • I think the lid being off helps and I made sure it was a good simmer and I stirred it often. It does thicken also as it cools.

    • Hi Heather! Thanks for your question — having it at a strong simmer, stirring often is key. And as it cools, it will thicken. You could also try to leave the lid partially off for a vent. I’m not sure why it was still thin…that has never happened for me. I would adjust to a stronger simmer 🙂 hope that helps, and thanks so much for giving this recipe a try! Hugs and love xox

  28. Spent all day Sunday making this fabulous spaghetti sauce. Everything was spot on! I did add an extra pound of scrambled ground meat because my men are meat eaters. Thanks for posting such a knock out recipe.

    • Oh my gosh that is so wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it!! thanks for sharing your success! Hugs and love xox

  29. In my family, you’d never catch my Mom or Grandma making homemade spaghetti sauce with canned tomatoes!! We used fresh tomatoes, right off the vine. If she wanted to dress it up a little, she’d add some fresh bell peppers or jalapenos. Our family’s sauce always spent at least 24 hours in the fridge too. Grandma insisted on this, also for most soups too. She said it gave the ingredients time for the flavors to bind together. I always insisted that my beef stew tasted better in leftovers than at the main meal it was made for. My brother was always sneaking tastes from the pot. He’d grab a small piece of bread and dip it in…ah, families!

  30. Can you please post the vegetable recipe that’s in the picture with your spaghetti. It looks delicious too!!

  31. Sounds delish can I add this to a slow cooker if I don’t have time to make on the stove, if so 4,6,10 hours setting 

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