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Italian Tomato Sauce

Rated as 4.38 out of 5 Stars

"The best spaghetti sauce! We had this every Wednesday when I was growing up. The secret ingredient is the nutmeg. Just a pinch. Delicious! Serve over spaghetti."
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50 m servings 201
Original recipe yields 10 servings


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  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes; add beef and cook, stirring to break into small chunks, until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes more.
  2. Stir stewed tomatoes and tomato paste with the beef mixture until smooth; add mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, sugar, nutmeg, oregano, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir baking soda into the sauce. Continue cooking until you can taste a reduction in acidity of the sauce, about 10 minutes more.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Baking soda helps to neutralize acid in tomatoes, making the sauce more palatable. Add soda in very small increments and cook sauce several minutes after adding. Taste and add more soda if desired, but sauce will tend to be more or less acrid, depending on quality of tomatoes and paste.
  • I freeze the remainder and simply defrost and heat in the microwave. This can be done several times and it is as good as a leftover as it is when it is first made.
  • If sauce becomes too thick, add a little water toward the end of cooking. If too thin, cook uncovered about 15 minutes.
  • Use whatever ground meat you prefer. This works with beef, turkey, or chicken.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 201 calories; 9.6 17.6 12.6 32 980 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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This was very tasty, and had that `hmm whats that i taste`` flavor to it! I loved the warming effect the nutmeg had on the sauce. I used about 1.5 pounds of ground beef, upped the cloves of garl...

I always put baking soda in my sauce but I cook it with the tomato sauce and tomato paste first let cook for 20 minutes then ad all the other stuff. Works a hole lot better that way. Hope some o...

Substituted yellow bell pepper for celery. Added more garlic. Used 1/4 c red wine. Used pinch of allspice instead of nutmeg.

i made this recipe and found it lacked flavor. i used insalted diced tomatoes. so i added hot sauce, wocestershire sauce, marjoram flakes, shredded asiago and chili powder. turned out great. ...