Sicilian Style Spaghetti Sauce

By:  Raven Wing  •  3 years ago  •  19 comments

Sicilian Style Spaghetti Sauce

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Note: I have never made a small pot of this, so I won’t try to figure the cutbacks for the ingredients.  I make this only by the large corn cooker or spaghetti sauce sized pots.  Use whichever large pot you like. I like having lots of room to stir and work in the pot, and any leftover sauce can be frozen for use another day. 

This recipe makes approx. 1 to 1-1/2 gallons of sauce.  Why so much?  I use this sauce for all my ‘Italian’ dishes. Normally when I make the new pot, I use the sauce to make other Italian dishes, and share some of the sauce with family and Friends. The sauce freezes well and I put the left over sauce in containers or freezer bags for use later. And it is fun to experiment with for other uses.

Ingredients:  (as this is a personal recipe, the measurements here are a guestimate, and you can add or subtract to suit your tastes or medical needs, if any.)

     5       large cans of tomato puree

     3       medium cans of diced tomatoes, unseasoned 

     8       fresh Italian link sausages (Optional - your choice, hot, mild, mixed. I like fresh from a deli)

    1/2     lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced with stems on

     2       large white onions, chopped (yellow or red onions are not strong enough to hold their flavor)

     4       green bell peppers, chopped (color optional)

     6        green onions (spring onions) with tops, chopped

     8        large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

     2        tbsp. fine crushed Thyme leaves

     1        tsp. crushed Rosemary leaves

     1        tsp. crushed Marjoram leaves

     1        tsp. crushed Basil leaves

     1        tsp. Allspice

     2        tsp. salt

     1        tbsp course ground black pepper

     1        tsp. white pepper

    1/2      cup red or white wine (the wine is optional, but, any cheap white wine will do)


You will notice that I have omitted Oregano. I never use it in my Italian dishes. The real secret to a good Italian sauce is Thyme, that is what really gives it the robust Italian taste, not Oregano. For me Oregano makes the sauce taste bitter, so I never use it. However, if you like Oregano and wish to use it, add to your taste.


Cut the fresh sausages in half and brown well on medium heat in the pot you are going to use to cook the sauce in. Remove sausages when brown and put in onions, bell peppers and garlic.  Brown in the liquid from frying the sausages until just barely limp. 

Add wine and bring to a boil.

Then slowly add tomato puree, diced tomatoes and all other ingredients and stir well.

Add browned sausages to mixture, stir and cover.

Let simmer slowly, stirring only enough to keep from sticking, for approx. 4 hours. I use a flame diffuser (below)......


.......under the pot to prevent the sauce and ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan so much, but, you will still need to stir now and then to make sure the ingredients are well combined.

Be sure to scrape the sides of the pot when you stir the sauce, as the seasonings and other stuff will normally tend to stick to the sides as it cooks, and scraping the sides will keep the good stuff back in the sauce and not stuck on the sides of the pot.

You can let your taste buds be your guide in the need for more seasonings to suit your tastes.

Remove the sausage and set aside when the sauce is done.

Serve over cooked spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese, a tossed green salad and toasted Italian bread for a great Sicilian meal.


Northern Italians like to add sugar and cheese to their sauce. The sugar helps to cut the bitterness of the tomatoes grown in Northern Italy, and adding cheese also tends to mellow the tartness or the tomatoes.

The reason the tomatoes in Northern Italy are rather bitter is because most of the soil in that area is based with lave ash from the volcano eruptions in the early years, which tends to make the vegetables have a very tart or bitter taste. So adding sugar to the sauce helps deter some of the bitterness.

However, adding sugar to this sauce is optional, as is adding cheese. It is up to your own taste buds.

Hope you enjoy it.  


jrGroupDiscuss - desc
Raven Wing
Professor Expert
1  author  Raven Wing    3 years ago

Here is a list of other Italian dishes you can make with this sauce to name just a few;


Veal Scallopini

Stuffed Flank Steak

Eggplant Parmesan


Chicken Parmesan

Stuffed Manicotti

Chicken Cacciatore

Meatball/Sausage Sandwiches

French Bread Pizza

And you can experiment with the sauce to make up your own dishes. If you don't have use for all of the sauce, or room to store it in the freezer, you can make dishes to share with your family and Friends, or share the sauce with them to make their own.  

You can also make meatballs to add to the sauce along with the sausage, or just by themselves. It is a sauce that you can use any way you like.

Let your taste buds be your guide. jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gif

Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
1.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Raven Wing @1    3 years ago

Is this your circuitous route to getting me to worship the FSM? If so... it's working ;)

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
1.1.1  author  Raven Wing  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @1.1    3 years ago

LOL.....whatever works! jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

Professor Principal
1.2  devangelical  replied to  Raven Wing @1    2 years ago

sounds yummy, but it makes me homesick for my mom's sauce and homemade pasta. boo hoo

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
1.2.1  author  Raven Wing  replied to  devangelical @1.2    2 years ago

Thanks devangelical. I knowhow it is when you remember something from one of your family members and can't seem to repeat it. I loved my Grandmother's Southern style cornbread dressing, and try as I might, I can never make it to taste the same as hers. My taste buds remember it as if it was just yesterday, and they have not ever been as happy with mine. 

Professor Principal
1.2.2  devangelical  replied to  Raven Wing @1.2.1    2 years ago

mom starts cooking a spaghetti dinner right after finishing sunday breakfast. her condo smells like sausage and sauce all day long. she doesn't use a press to make the pasta, but it looks like she did. years ago she used to make bread to accompany dinner, but it's just too much for her now. she blames her oven and claims she spent her whole life baking at high altitude and there's no time left to learn how to adjust it to sea level. funny how it hasn't seemed to ever hinder cookie, pie, special breads, and dinner roll production during the holidays. tracking it the last 16 years, I actually gain a little over a pound a day when I visit. everything made from scratch.

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @1.2.2    2 years ago

I have a bread machine...which I used a lot when the kids were still living at home. It's so easy to use, your mom might like one. Just a thought.

The next time I make spaghetti or lasagna, I'm dusting off the bread machine

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
1.2.4  author  Raven Wing  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.2.3    2 years ago

I had one of those as well, Giggles. I made my own bread from scratch for years, but, when it got to where kneading the dough for the necessary length of time was too painful for my hands, I gave in and bought the bread machine. I really liked it. I made all kinds of bread with it, some I had not tried before. Some I shared with family and Friends. 

But, I still make my Fry Bread by hand. It does not require a lot of kneading, so it just tastes better when done by hand. 

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
1.2.5  author  Raven Wing  replied to  devangelical @1.2.2    2 years ago
everything made from scratch.

That is how I learned to cook from my Grandmothers and Great-Grandmother. 

Professor Expert
2  Kathleen    3 years ago

Thank you so much Raven.  I make sauce too, but mine is plain. I am so glad you did not put oregano in it.  I do not like that spice.  I like the idea of making a lot so you can freeze it and make a quick dinner. I add sugar to mine, but no cheese.

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
2.1  author  Raven Wing  replied to  Kathleen @2    3 years ago

You're very welcome Kathleen. I learned to cook Sicilian style Italian food from my ex Father-In-Law, who came to America from Sicily at the age of 14-16 (he was not sure how old he was, nor what his birthday was). My ex MIL walked on before I had a chance to meet her after I married into the family, so I never had the chance to learn to make any of her dishes.

I have tasted the sauce with sugar in it, and while it is tasty, I prefer it without the sweetness. I save my sweet tooth for the homemade Cannolis for desert. jrSmiley_101_smiley_image.gif

Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
3  Paula Bartholomew    3 years ago

Except for the mushrooms (allergic) it looks like a great recipe.

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
3.1  author  Raven Wing  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3    3 years ago

Nothing wrong with leaving them out, it won't change the overall taste of the sauce that much. 

Eat The Press Do Not Read It
Senior Expert
4  Eat The Press Do Not Read It    3 years ago

Our "sauces", here, at Eat The Press - Do Not Read It, are winos. Do you ever use any of them?


Thank you, Raven Wing, for your "salty, spicy" comments. They pack a powerful punch on me page, always leave me with a smile and an appetite for more.

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
4.1  author  Raven Wing  replied to  Eat The Press Do Not Read It @4    2 years ago

You are most welcome. I enjoy your articles/seeds. (smile)

Professor Principal
5  sandy-2021492    3 years ago

A funny story - one of my coworkers has possibly the world's stupidest son-in-law.  My coworker makes and cans spaghetti sauce when tomatoes are in season.  She took some to them when she visited, and he didn't want her homemade spaghetti sauce because it's "full of preservatives".  When she told him that homemade sauce doesn't have synthetic preservatives, he accused her of trying to kill him with rotting marinara.  She thought about throwing the jar at him so that he could be right for once.

The boy is also a vegetarian, unless he's eating out on someone else's dime, and then his health and moral objections to meat disappear.

Your recipe sounds delicious, Raven.  Sounds like a fun project for a rainy afternoon.

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
5.1  author  Raven Wing  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5    3 years ago
Sounds like a fun project for a rainy afternoon.

Thanks Sandy. Indeed it is. As it does take a bit of time to prepare and cook, I cook mine when I have boring work to do, so that I can take needed breaks to check on the sauce and then make other dishes to go with. jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gif

Freshman Quiet
6  DRHunk    2 years ago

I am a sucker for good homemade sauce, so I am going to try to make this.  Think if I add Fennel to a saved portion I can use it for Pizzas also? I love making homemade pizza.

Raven Wing
Professor Expert
6.1  author  Raven Wing  replied to  DRHunk @6    2 years ago


Nothing wrong with a bit of experimenting. I do a lot of that myself. Amazing what you can come up with out of the blue. But, when I'm experimenting I always take not of what I am using and how much in case it turns out good and I want to do it again. Many times I have made something by trial and error that turned out good and I forgot how much I used of what and could never repeat the dish the same again. It's especially bad when the family loves it and wants more of it and I can't repeat it the same.

When I make the sauce I always make enough for Lasagna, stuffed Flank steak, pizza, stuffed Manicotti, and whatever else I want to experiment with. The sauce freezes well and I divide it up into portions of whatever I want to make with it for future use. 

Note, I do not add sugar to my sauce so it is not sweet. My sauce is Sicilian style, which does not use sugar in their dishes. So if you prefer the sauce to be sweet you can add the amount of sugar to your taste.

Let us know how it works for you with the fennel. 


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