I love Italian food and especially linguine with Spaghetti Sauce and sweet sausage! Pasta is the ultimate comfort food, and letting the tomato sauce simmer for 4-5 hours builds a rich, delicious sauce with incredible flavors that Italian grandmothers love to make.
You’ll see many recipes for “Quick and Easy Spaghetti Sauce” and in a pinch they’re fine. But making spaghetti sauce like Nonna or your favorite Italian restaurant isn’t difficult and once it’s on the stove, there isn’t any more you need to do other than an occasional stir of the pot for this simple recipe.
When it comes to cooking, it’s about the ingredients and the technique. In this case, the ingredients are minimal and the cooking technique is easy to follow. What makes this sauce exceptional is letting it simmer and build the rich flavors that we love.
And that my friends is the real secret to good tomato sauce.
Table of Contents:
What do I need to make restaurant-style spaghetti sauce?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Spaghetti Sauce with Sausage. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Do I have to use sausage to make spaghetti sauce?
No, you don’t. You can use this recipe and just eliminate the sausage. Sausage or pork bones do add additional flavor, but if you let it simmer for four or five hours, it will still be an amazingly delicious sauce even without the sausage.
Start by browning the sausage in a large pot with olive oil. My favorite pot to use for this sauce is a Rondeau. It’s been an essential piece of cooking equipment throughout my career as a chef at the restaurants I’ve worked at and in my home.
Chef Dennis Tip:
*You can use spicy Italian sausage if you like heat, but I prefer the milder regular or sweet Italian sausage. I found the addition of red pepper flakes to the sauce will add enough heat for my tastes.
You can also use sausage meat (out of the casing) if you want a meatier sauce. That alone or combined with ground beef is another delicious way to make spaghetti sauce.
After the sausage has been browned add the diced onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent. Don’t let the onions or garlic burn!
When that step has been completed, add the tomatoes and fresh basil, sea salt, sugar, and black pepper to the pan.
What is the best type of tomato for spaghetti sauce?
I only use San Marzano tomatoes in my sauce. San Marzano tomatoes are prized for their balanced and distinct tomato flavor. I also find them to be less acidic. My wife has problems with most tomato sauces unless they’re made with San Marzano plum tomatoes.
Where can I buy San Marzano Tomatoes?
You can find San Marzano tomatoes at just about every grocery store. In the larger chains, you’ll even find different brands, including organic varieties. But all San Marzano tomatoes are not created equally. You’ll find some brands contain less tomato and more juice, and some may actually be from other regions.
The volcanic soil and the microclimate of the Campagna region account for their balanced, rich tomato flavor. In Italy, tomatoes labeled as “San Marzano” must adhere to strict DOP (the Italian-protected designation of origin) guidelines, which govern where they’re grown and how they’re processed.
Using the same plant or the same seeds in another region of Italy or other countries will not make San Marzano tomatoes.
How do I tell if the tomatoes are really San Marzano?
The easiest way to tell if the tomatoes are fake is if they contain crushed or diced tomatoes. San Marzanos are only certified whole or in fillets, peeled, and canned.
And since you’re buying tomatoes whole, you need to crush them for the sauce. I use an immersion blender for this task.
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I absolutely love my Waring Professional Immersion Blender. I had two less powerful household units that both burned out. This immersion blender has been going strong for five years already and shows no signs of slowing up.
I love that I can use the immersion blender right in the can, it makes clean-up easy and purees tomatoes, soups, and sauces perfectly.
Who’s ready to sit down to a plateful of delicious homemade spaghetti with sausage? After one bite, you’ll agree that this is the best homemade spaghetti sauce you’ve ever tasted.
But here’s the best part, tomorrow it’s going to taste even better. When I make a big batch of spaghetti sauce, I wait two days before I freeze it so the flavors have time to build.
Yes, you can. Italian sausage, meatballs, ribs, or just about any meat can be put directly into the sauce raw as long as you are cooking the sauce until the meat is cooked. The internal temperature of the meat must be at least 165 degrees.
I love using the sauce to make Chicken Parm or Eggplant parm. It’s so much better than jarred spaghetti sauce. You can also add cream and Romano or parmesan cheese to make a Rosa Sauce (aka Vodka Sauce).
Yes, it does. And I always make a large batch of sauce when I do make spaghetti sauce and freeze enough for those days I don’t feel like cooking. It will last up to 3 months in a tightly sealed container.
This is my first time doing a Marinara Sauce and I love the simplicity of how you made it. I used fresh tomatoes and let it simmer for 3 hours. When mixed with my favorite pasta, it’s heavenly! Thank you and God bless.
I’m excited to try this recipe out. If I want to do both sausage links AND ground beef, do I start browning the beef at the same time I’m browning the sausage links? Also what ground beef do you recommend, lean or fattier? Thank you!
Chef Dennis Littley
brown the ground beef first then remove to do the sausage. You can add the browned ground beef back into the pan after you add the tomatoes and seasoning. I would use lean ground beef, you’ll have enough fat from the sausage. As long as there isn’t to much fat from the beef, just leave it in to add flavor to the sauce.
This looks incredibly tasty. Love the addition of sweet sausages which I also love.I’m going to have to try it this week 🙂
Shannon Gurnee - Redhead Mom Blog
Our family LOVES to eat spaghetti. This definitely looks like a yummy recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Chef for your recipe. We loved it. I halved it and added 3/4 lb ground beef and 1 Tbsp fish sauce. We really enjoyed it.
This is such a great classic! We love sausages in pasta, it really makes it a hearty dish.
i have some sausages right now and this spaghetti dish will be perfect for dinner tonight! Looks so delicious and inviting!
This recipe looks so good. My family loves having spaghetti. I definitely want to add this to the menu one of these days. I’m always looking for new ways to make spaghetti.
I was just thinking about adding spaghetti on the menu this week. Will do this. Looks yummy!
Sam | Ahead of Thyme
I love a good spaghetti sauce, and this looks absolutely delicious! So easy to make too!
R U S S
This is something I will definitely prepare here at home. I love Italian Food, pasta especially. Pasta is a good break from our typical lockdown food.
I’m not a fan of most of the jarred spaghetti sauce we buy at the store, I’ll have to try your recipe and make my own!
One of the dishes I’ve been craving since all this covid-19 stay home madness started is restaurant spaghetti sauce. So glad I stumbled upon your recipe!
My family devoured this spaghetti! It’s so flavorful and does taste just like a restaurant!
Great recipe! Just like my nanny used to make, it brings me back to all our wonderful holidays.
Great recipe! Not sure why I never thought to blend the sauce in the can. Such a great idea.
I always like reading how you do things compared to how I do it. I figure if I am close to your way, then I am in excellent company! We’ve always used our own ground beef, but I love the idea of sweet sausage and am going to give that a try.
That looks really good! I love my Italian foods, and pasta in general. Can’t wait to try making this!
I just made my own sauce for the first time last week and it is so much better than store bought. I am now hooked on making my own from now on. I cannot wait to try this recipe next. My hubby loves sausage, so this is going to be a hit with him, I’m sure!
Considering we can’t eat out at restaurants right now, making this would be the perfect substitute!! Thank you for the recipe 🙂 Looks amazingly tasty!
Spaghetti is a favorite dinner in this house! I’ll have to try this version for sure. We always like to change things up!