This is a basic mild pasta sauce my mother made for years and is still a family favorite. You can add browned ground beef, mushrooms, grated carrots, zucchini or other veggies. We especially like mushrooms or ground beef. It's easy and quick but as with most things like this, the longer and slower it simmers the better it tastes.

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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, saute' onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, oregano, salt, pepper, cheese sauce and water. Lower heat and simmer until it thickens; about 30 minutes.

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Nutrition Facts

81.7 calories; protein 2.4g 5% DV; carbohydrates 9.7g 3% DV; fat 4.5g 7% DV; cholesterol 2.9mg 1% DV; sodium 651mg 26% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (24)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2003
This was really good! My youngest daughter even said "it smells just like the jarred stuff". The whole family liked it. I substituted 1 1/2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese instead of the prepared cheese sauce and also added an extra clove of garlic (garlic lovers here). The only complaint? There wasn't more! I will definitely make this again but will double or triple the recipe. Read More
(24)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/01/2011
This sauce is a little too thin. To make authentic Italian tomato sauce is very easy. For marinara sauce heat a couple of tbs of olive oil & saute crushed garlic and finely chopped 1/2 onion. Add 1 large can of tomato puree, 1/2 can of water, basil, (additional garlic powder and onion powder, & italian spices if you wish), 1 whole carrot which you will remove before serving(this is to remove the bitter taste of some tomatoes & lessen the need to add sugar). Cook on low for about 1/2 hour. Add grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste, additional salt & pepper and that's it. Very simple. To make a meat sauce, just brown ground beef or meatball mix, pour off the fat and add to the sauce. You don't have to buy jarred sauce which is loaded with sugar and thickeners. If you really need a sweeter sauce you can add some sugar, but I never do. The jar sauce is just too sweet. and I believe the cheese sauce is velveeta or cheese wiz. I use grated italian cheese. Can't imagine using cheese wiz! Read More
(26)
30 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 9
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
03/01/2011
This sauce is a little too thin. To make authentic Italian tomato sauce is very easy. For marinara sauce heat a couple of tbs of olive oil & saute crushed garlic and finely chopped 1/2 onion. Add 1 large can of tomato puree, 1/2 can of water, basil, (additional garlic powder and onion powder, & italian spices if you wish), 1 whole carrot which you will remove before serving(this is to remove the bitter taste of some tomatoes & lessen the need to add sugar). Cook on low for about 1/2 hour. Add grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste, additional salt & pepper and that's it. Very simple. To make a meat sauce, just brown ground beef or meatball mix, pour off the fat and add to the sauce. You don't have to buy jarred sauce which is loaded with sugar and thickeners. If you really need a sweeter sauce you can add some sugar, but I never do. The jar sauce is just too sweet. and I believe the cheese sauce is velveeta or cheese wiz. I use grated italian cheese. Can't imagine using cheese wiz! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2003
This was really good! My youngest daughter even said "it smells just like the jarred stuff". The whole family liked it. I substituted 1 1/2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese instead of the prepared cheese sauce and also added an extra clove of garlic (garlic lovers here). The only complaint? There wasn't more! I will definitely make this again but will double or triple the recipe. Read More
(24)
Rating: 4 stars
02/21/2005
I tripled up this recipe but used 1 part tomato paste for every 3 parts sauce to make it a little thicker. I also used an extra clove of garlic some garlic powder basil and a bay leaf. The recipe by itself isn't outstanding but it puts you right at the point where you can do some fun things tailored to your own taste. Read More
(23)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/08/2002
This was really good. I added zucchini mushrooms and beef. The beef really sucked up the juices I would maybe add a little more water and tomato paste if adding beef. Great flavor recommended! Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
02/17/2008
I was out of oregano so I just used Italian seasoning instead. Used this sauce for homemade chicken ravioli and it was great! Super easy recipe that you can get going while you're doing other things. Fabulous for a busy mom! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
09/14/2003
This was great! As a single mom of a little girl I have to balance meeting her picky eating habits to my budget (and limited culinary skills). The ingedients I used for the 4-serving recipe cost me a buck the recipe was so simple even I couldn't screw it up and my daughter loved the sauce! I used half to make chicken manicotti (multiple servings from a whole roast chicken - which I also learned how to roast perfectly from allrecipes.com) and froze the other half to make spaghetti or lasagna in the future. Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/30/2008
I cooked ground chicken with the garlic and onion then added the tomato sauce. Instead of water I used chicken broth. I also used parm cheese instead of the processed cheese. Wow it was great served with bow tie pasta! Read More
(10)
Rating: 3 stars
10/17/2004
this is the first recipe i made from this site. when i first tasted it it didnt taste as good as i had expected but then after i added some extra garlic and parmesean cheese and let it simmer for about 45 minutes it tasted 100 times better. i also added some finely chopped ground meat. i accented it with some pasta. it definatly tasted good. Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
09/06/2003
Very good! I added a bay leaf and some basil. My husband loved it. Read More
(9)