I grew up in a stereotypical Jersey Italian family complete with loud relatives, large holiday meals and delicious food! Recipes in our family aren’t necessarily passed down on paper, it’s more of a “Just come here and do it with me.” and so we learn. Now, I do have to mention that if I were to truly make this from scratch, I would start with roasting my own tomatoes instead of using canned, but as a busy momma I do take some shortcuts. This pasta sauce may not be exactly how my grandmother or my father made it, but each generation makes their own tweaks based on what they learned. Now, I’ll share it with you!

My Own Homemade Italian Pasta Sauce

This chunky meat-filled sauce will take a while to put together, but I can tell you that the time is worth it. This is not just for a single meal, because I was never taught how to make it for any less than 10-15 people! When I’m making Italian food, I’m prepared to feed an army. The best part about that though? This sauce can be enjoyed hot or cold and only gets better as it sits in the fridge. In fact, if you put it in the right airtight container, it can freeze well for future meals. In fact, I also use it in my 5 Cheese Lasagna which doubles as a freezer friendly meal!

How Long Can Sauce Stay In The Freezer?

This is a topic that generates a wide range of answers. The general rule of thumb is that if the sauce is kept in an airtight container, it can last 4 to 6 months for the best quality. However, I’ve had my sauce in heavy duty freezer bags with the air vacuumed out and I’ve used it almost a year later.

Check out my other blog, Sassy Cooking, to learn how you can make a lighter version of tomato sauce and learn how to can it and other items for shelf-stable storage!

What Meats Do You Put Into Pasta Sauce?

This is where the recipes tend to differ in our family. I remember my father always using whole sausage links, meatballs and pork neck bones in his sauce. I have found pork neck bones to be a rarity when I’m grocery shopping, so I tend to exclude them when I’m cooking. However, they do add a great flavor to the sauce should you be able to find them. Depending on your level of spice preference, choose the Italian sausage you prefer, mild or hot. I like using ground sausage personally as I find it infuses better in the sauce.

What Products Do You Recommend To Make Your Own Pasta Sauce?

I’m pretty brand loyal when it comes to the things that I use to make my sauce. If the season is right and I know I’ll have time to prepare it in advance, I’ll order from our local SWFL Produce for tomatoes and roast them myself. If it’s a busy night, I tend to favor Tuttorosso and Hunts for my crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. I order my groceries through Walmart and they deliver it right to my door to save time as well! You can get $10 off your first order over $50 by going to VeniceFoodies.com/Walmart.

How Do You Make Your Own Pasta Sauce?

Feel free to print the recipe from below, share it with a friend or pin it to your Pinterest for later!

homemade pasta sauce

Homemade Italian Pasta Sauce

Alyssa Reinbolt
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Cuisine Italian


  • Package of ground Italian Sausage
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes I prefer tuttorosso brand
  • 1 can of Hunt’s diced tomatoes with oregano basil, garlic
  • 1 can of Hunt’s tomato paste
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • t tbsp of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of red wine
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese freshly grated is best, but the can stuff works too
  • Spices: Oregano Basil (Again, fresh is best, but dried will work)


  • Prep your ingredients: mince or grate the garlic, grate cheese, thinly chop the spices.
  • In a large pot, drizzle the olive oil and heat it on medium heat. 3. Add the garlic and let it roast for a minute before adding the sausage.
  • Brown the sausage until it’s all crumbly and yummy.
  • Add all of the tomatoes and stir to combine.
  • Season with the remaining ingredients and let it simmer on low for at least 35 minutes to an hour (the longer it simmers, the better the flavor) Stirring often.
  • Serve with the pasta or protein of your choice or put it in a jar to save for later!


If you want to learn more about canning, grab the Canning Jump Start Guide! It’s a visual guide that shares canning equipment checklists for traditional water bath and steam canning, a canning season planner, recipes to get you started, an elevation adjustment guide, a stovetop guide (what pot goes where!), and more. You’ll be canning with confidence, the modern way!

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The Reinbolt Family of Venice Foodies


  1. I have found pork neck bones to be a rarity when I’m grocery shopping, so I tend to exclude them when I’m cooking.

    1. Alyssa Reinbolt says:

      I find if I specifically request them at Winn Dixie, I can get them. But using the sausage makes up for the meaty flavor I’m craving in a pinch 🙂

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