Tomato – Tomahto — Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

David and I have been talking about trying this recipe for a while. Pretty much since we saw the episode of Good Eats earlier this year. We eat spaghetti on a pretty regular basis, I guess you could say its one of our go to meals, typically its quick and easy, we use jar tomato sauce, and add lots of extras to make it meet our flavor expectations. A few weeks ago we decided to be ambitious and make our sauce from scratch, and who better to lead us on this culinary exploration than Alton Brown!?! So, we found the recipe from that old episode of Good Eats and took to the kitchen to see if we could handle a from scratch sauce. And I have to say I was pretty impressed with our first attempt. I think if we had a blender to make the tomatoes a little more liquid-y and we may have needed some more tomatoes, because I like more of a red sauce, and this was mostly meat, which was good, but I was missing the base a little! So, the original tomato sauce recipe is below, we added italian sausage, ground beef, and mushrooms to the regular recipe and omitted the celery and carrot, because it…. seemed weird. So feel free to add or remove as needed!


  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


In a sieve  over a medium non-reactive saucepot, strain the tomatoes of their juice into the sauce pot. Add the sherry vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil to the tomato juice. Stir and cook over high heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the surface, reduce to a simmer. Allow liquid to reduce by 1/2 or until liquid has thickened to a loose syrup consistency.

Squeeze each tomato thoroughly to ensure most seeds are removed. Set the tomatoes aside ( I made David handle this so I don’t have a picture, because I was busy working on the next part!)

Cut carrot, onion, and celery into uniform sizes and combine with olive oil and garlic in a non-reactive roasting pan over low heat. Sweat the mirepoix until the carrots are tender and the onion becomes translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and capers to the roasting pan.

Place roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and broil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Tomatoes should start to brown slightly on edges with light caramelization. Remove the pan from the broiler. Place the pan over 2 burners on the stove. Add the white wine to the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes over medium heat.

Put the tomatoes into a deep pot or bowl and add the reduced tomato liquid to the tomatoes. Blend to desired consistency and adjust seasoning.

While we were doing all this we browned the hamburger meat and the italian sausage and then sliced the sausage into coins and added all the meat to the sauce! Then mix everything up and serve over warm noodles! This too about an hour, but it was worth it for sure! We plan to ind of doctor it up and get it attuned with our tastes!

Definitely recommend this one, especially if its your first shot at making a home made sauce, because it wasn’t too complicated, but still had a really solid end result. Now I just need to find an intense Italian sauce recipe and try my hand at that! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!!


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