Recipe by Request: Mama Jan’s Made-from-Scratch Sicilian Pasta Sauce

This sauce will knock your socks off!

I guarantee you will NEVER purchase jarred spaghetti sauce again as long as you live.  You will have a lot of visitors for dinner too! 🙂

*Notes: a) Organic foodstuffs may be used if preferred, of course,  b) for people who cannot tolerate alcohol, the red wine in the sauce may be omitted and replaced with 1/4 cup olive oil, and  c) This manna from the gods makes a GREAT parmigiana sauce for chicken, eggplant, meatballs, etc. as well!

This sauce IS, for all who asked, vegetarian and vegan.

Prep time: about 15 min.     Cooking time: 30-40 min   Yield: at least 2 26 oz jars of sauce, probably more in my experience


1 – 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 – 6 oz can tomato paste (NOT sauce or puree)

2  fresh green peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced into 1-inch strips

4-6  cloves garlic, minced (add more or less to your liking. No vampires here, I love the stuff!)

2  medium yellow onions, sliced in thin 1-inch strips or simply cut in small chunks

(optional – 5 oz. white  or Portobello mushrooms, sliced.  1/2 can black olives, sliced)

about 12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (roll up as one roll and slice in strips) or 3 tbsps dried basil or to taste

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp dried parsley or one bunch fresh flat-leaf parley chopped fine

3 tsp dried thyme

3 bay leaves

2 TBSP (or to taste) sea salt or kosher salt, although good ol’ table salt will do

2 tsp black pepper, preferably freshly ground

OLIVE OIL!!! Where would we Paisans be without the staple of our cooking????

3 TBSP sugar

1 cup red wine (optional)

1.  In a large sautee pan, pour about 3 tbsp olive oil (I like Filipo Berio) and saute the garlic, onions, peppers, fresh basil, and any other vegetables you might prefer until the onions are translucent and the veggies are crisp-tender, about 10-12 minutes.

2.  Add this mixture, plus another 1/5 cup olive oil, to a large stockpot. On medium heat, add all tomato products and stir very well. Reduce heat to low.

3. Stir in all the spices and bay leaves, salt, sugar, and red wine. Stir well.

4. Reduce heat to simmer and cover, leaving a small space for steam ventilation.

5. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS TASTE YOUR COOKING! Adjust spices, sugar, and salt as needed. Do not burn your mouth 🙂 .

6. MANGIA e BUON APETITO!!! (And don’t forget to send me love every time you sigh with culinary ecstasy, lol!)

Serve over your favorite pasta – works wonders on any but I adore it on linguine, spaghetti, ziti rigati, rotini, and in stuffed shells with ricotta cheese.  AB-FAB as a sauce on eggplant, zucchini, meatballs, sausage, or chicken parmigiana.

*Add a hot, buttery loaf of home-made garlic bread to this meal and you will either make many friends for life, or find a husband (or a wife!).


* If you need a recipe for scrumptious garlic bread, please do ask me.  Your wish is my command!              Love and good eats, Janice xoxoxo

Mama Jan's Sicilian Kitchen. If you can't take the heat, stay out! lol


Filed under food/recipes, love

6 responses to “Recipe by Request: Mama Jan’s Made-from-Scratch Sicilian Pasta Sauce

  1. Alvo

    Yum yum, yum yum. I can’t wait to make this. (I am singing this in my head. Repeat!) Tom will love this – he is addicted to garlic! Do you use those kinds of canned tomatoes in the photo? p.s. I like those coconuts on your stove.


  2. Yes i do!!! But other good brands are Redpack, Tuttorosso, Luigi Vitelli, and good ol’ generic cuts the mustard as well. I forgot to say i often throw in handfuls of garlic and onion powder while cooking to give it an extra kick! it is soooooooooo good. And i really made it up, lol! Yeah, coconuts – I cook Indian food a lot. They are so labor intensive but worth it. I love you and the fact you will cook this and think of Splan!!! xoxoxoxoxox


  3. Ellen Fagan

    I think I will give this a try, although odds are good that it only tastes stellar when YOU prepare it. But my guys’ll eat almost anything Italian without complaint, so…thanks, luv! I’m also giggling about your “Mama Jan” tag which, as I think I told you, is how my mom refers to herself on our voicemail. SO cute. This triggers a mild memory of the fact that she used to make hamburgers for us (ground beef NOT being one of her specialities) that she tried to base upon some weird idea of the MacDonald’s recipe, & these she called “Big Jans.” I’m trying not to think about this…


    • OMG EL! I just read this for the first time, three years too late, HAHAHA. You make me laugh so hard! In fact, I think despite the fact that I stand a whopping 5’2″ and weigh 100 lbs, I shall re-name myself “Big Jan” in your mama’s honor. Or maybe Hamburger Helper? *DOH* That was terrible…*slinks away in shame*
      Love you and talk soon. ❤ JJ


  4. This looks like my kind of Italian sauce. Lots of garlic and fresh basil. Those ingredients are golden.


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