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  • Writer's picturePeg Larkin

Spaghetti Sauce, By Way Of Nancy's Nana

Ironically, this is NOT my mother’s spaghetti sauce! Although hers was always a family favorite, I’ve grown to like mine more. Several years back, mom admitted to my daughter that the “secret ingredient” in her sauce was a jar of Prego, hysterical! Nothing against Prego, or my beloved mama, but this sauce is so much better. A dear friend’s Nana passed down this recipe, and I’ve happily made it for many years. Not for nothing, my mom was 100% Irish and Nana was 100% Armenian, which just goes to show you, the melting pot always simmers up some fine cooking.


1 large can of tomato puree (28 oz)

3 small cans of tomato paste (6 oz each)

One small onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled, either crushed or minced



Bay leaves

Red pepper flakes

Olive oil

Using a large sauce pan, sauté the chopped onion in 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat until it’s transparent and soft

Add the crushed garlic (you can mince the garlic if you don’t have a garlic press)

Sauté for a couple more minutes, don’t let the garlic burn

Add the tomato puree, the 3 cans of tomato paste, and 1 ½ large cans of water (use the tomato puree can)

Whisk until the tomato sauce is smooth and all the paste lumps have dissolved

Add 2-3 tbsp. each of oregano and basil. It will feel like a lot, but it offers nice flavor

Add 2 bay leaves

Add just a shake of red pepper flakes, for a little heat (optional)

Bring the sauce to a brief boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer for 1-2 hours.


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