Mom’s Famous Sunday Sauce

The recipe you all have been waiting for is HERE! I have been eating this dish for as long as I can remember, on a weekly basis! When I moved away from home a couple years ago, I always longed for my mom’s sauce and meatballs and could never find a jarred version that came close to comparing to the homemade flavor of a family favorite.

Traditionally, she makes this dish with beef meatballs, but since I cut red meat out of my diet seven years ago, I have since replaced them with a super yummy turkey meatball recipe. Additionally, I have swapped one of the MOST importance ingredients in this: Spicy Italian Sausage. Normally, it calls for regular pork spicy Italian sausage, but I replace it with some spicy Italian chicken sausage! Voila!


The sauce is best when able to simmer for a few hours. This is the perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon that requires attention every thirty minutes or so. The KEY is to keep stirring it!

Another pro-tip: Since cans of tomatoes can vary taste-wise, it is important to pay attention to the flavor of the sauce! If your sauce is super tangy, feel free to add a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten it up. Depending on where your tomatoes are harvested, your sauce can lean more tangy or sweet. This is also personal preference, but I prefer a slightly sweeter sauce! Then I add in the Pecorino Romano cheese in on top to balance it out!


Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3 28oz cans of Crushed Tomatoes (Mom swears by the Wegman’s brand if you have one near you)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 links Spicy Italian Sausage, raw (I use chicken sausage from the butcher at Wholefoods)
  • Optional: teaspoon of sugar if your sauce is particularly tangy!

Sauce Directions:

  • In a pan, cut sausage links in half and brown- set aside
  • In a LARGE pot, set heat to medium
  • Sautee garlic, olive oil and tomato paste for about 3 minutes
  • Add in three cans of crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, and dried basil- mix well
  • Add in spicy sausage links and turn down to a simmer
  • Let sauce simmer and STIR every 20-30 minutes. Do NOT let the sauce burn!!
  • Cook all day if desired! If you are more pressed for time, let sauce simmer 1-2 hours.
  • Add in meatballs of choice and serve!

xx Kels

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