grandma’s spaghetti sauce

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the very best in comfort food | a big bowl of pasta topped with grandma's spaghetti sauce

Thank you Decoy for sponsoring this post. Celebrate International Merlot Month this October by using the hashtag #MerlotMe on social!

fall is in the air, finally. we got our first cool days and even some rain last week, and it has me craving nights by the fire and comfort meals like a big bowl of pasta topped with the very best spaghetti sauce. of course the best recipes always come from our grandmas.

grandma's spaghetti sauce

i look forward to fall all summer long. our summers are very long, and very hot. come september i am over it. trouble is, even october can feel like summer here in california. so that little bit of rain last week put us all in the mood for some fall comfort food. and to me nothing says comfort like my grandma’s spaghetti sauce, a bowl of pasta, and a glass of  Decoy Merlot.

i have been making my own pasta sauce for years. yes, i will occasionally use a jar if need be, but homemade sauce is fairly simple to make and like most things, much better than store bought. pasta is one of the few dinners stella enjoys, so sauce is something i make most weeks during the colder months.

grandma's spaghetti sauce

it wasn’t until we visited my parents this summer, that stella let me know how much more she enjoyed grandma’s sauce than the one i usually make. so of course i asked my mom for the recipe and when the rain came, i was ready to get cooking.

comfort food at its best! grandma's speghetti sauce and a glass of merlot


grandma's spaghetti sauce


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery, with leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large can of tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tsp oregano
  • 2-3 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (if needed)


  • brown the ground beef and sausage in a large dutch oven
  • add the onion, garlic, and celery
  • drain extra grease if necessary
  • once browned, add the crushed tomatoes, sauce, and tomato paste
  • add spices, stir well and bring sauce to a boil
  • reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until your desired consistency (i like a thick sauce)
  • cover and simmer at least 4 hours (the longer the better)
  • if the tomatoes are too acidic, add the sugar at the end of cooking time
*if  you prefer a thinner version of the sauce add a can of water while simmering

grandma's spaghetti sauce

this spaghetti sauce is really easy to make, but definitely benefits from a long slow simmer. i tend to start my sauce early in the day, typically on a sunday, and then let it simmer for the afternoon. if you have a pot large enough, i strongly suggest doubling the recipe. we made enough for pasta, a lasagna, and i have plenty in the freezer. cook once, and eat four times. how’s that for meal prep? i love knowing a  good comforting pasta dinner and a great Merlot are ready and waiting.

grandma's spaghetti sauce


Fall for Merlot and join the fun this October. Share your Merlot Experience by using the hashtag #MerlotMe on social!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.