A couple weeks ago, when I made Pasta with Peas and Ricotta, I mentioned that pasta is not Nick’s favorite meal. I admit that I made that one for myself! Though while we were eating it, Nick confessed that he actually does like pasta, but only when it’s straight up spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce. So of course for the last 2 weeks I’ve been madly craving some good spaghetti and meatballs, preferably with homemade sauce!
Finally, I made it! I used a meatball recipe that I’ve made before. Last time I made them, I used jarred sauce, but this time I really wanted to make my own. Both my mom and my dad always made homemade sauce, and I knew it wasn’t terribly difficult. I wanted a sauce with some veggies in it, and even though I searched and searched for recipes, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to wing it, and see what I could come up with.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, thinly sliced
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- leaves from celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 large cans diced tomatoes
- 1 large can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes (less or none if you don’t want it spicy)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt & pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute a few minutes. Add carrots and celery. Cook until slightly soft, about 10 minutes.
The celery leaves are an awesome secret ingredient… they give tons of flavor! Add them to the carrot-celery mix and saute another minute.
Add tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Season with oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add a bay leaf and stir everything together.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
If you like super chunky sauce, you could serve it as is. If you like a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender to blend the veggies. I like something in between, so I blended most of it, but left it a little chunky. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can do batches in a blender or food processor).
I served the sauce over spaghetti and homemade meatballs.
Ok, first of all, this sauce was really good. So much better than Prego! Second of all, oh my gosh, I forgot how good these meatballs are! You need to make them right now. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I’ll come to your house and make you dinner for a week if you are! 😉
I had a whole pot of sauce, so I froze a bunch. It’ll be nice to have on hand when the craving strikes again! And it’s not just for pasta… I also smothered a spinach and chicken hot pocket with the sauce for lunch. To be honest, I contemplated eating the sauce straight from the pot with a spoon. Yeah, it’s that good.