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Best Ever Homemade Pasta Sauce

I adapted this from my mother’s famous pasta sauce recipe. You’ll never do store-bought again!
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Course: sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta, sauces, tomatoes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 3 1-Quart Jars
Calories: 1024kcal


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground sausage
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes (OR use 6-8 cups frozen tomatoes, thawed and chopped (juices included) – this equals about 30-40 Roma tomatoes)
  • 28 oz. marinara sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1-3 tbsp. sugar  (cater this amount to your liking)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a Dutch oven or large heavy-duty saucepan/skillet, cook the beef and sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the grease and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until veggies are soft and fragrant.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes (or thawed tomatoes, if using frozen), marinara, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, Bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and increase to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan. Remove Bay leaves and allow sauce to cool before pouring into quart-size mason jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If freezing, store in airtight containers or sealable bags for up to 6 months.


Calories: 1024kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 216mg | Sodium: 2906mg | Potassium: 2449mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 2208IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 12mg