Spaghetti Sauce

How To Make Dad’s Awesome Spaghetti Sauce

In Dude Food - Recipes for Dad by The Unexpected Dad2 Comments

I usually don’t follow a recipe when I cook, so the last time I made this sauce I wrote everything down so I could share.  This originally came from a recipe I found many years ago.  Since then I have modified it substantially and it is now one of my favorite things to cook and eat.  It is very easy; at its basics you throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and let it cook for a while.

Dads:  If you’re looking for something to make for your family Sunday dinner, this sauce is a great choice!


3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Tomato, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic
1 8oz. Can Tomato Sauce
2 6oz. Cans Tomato Paste
2 6oz. Cans Water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tbsp. Garlic Salt
2 Tbsp. Basil
2 Tbsp. Oregano
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 lbs Ground Mild Italian Sausage, Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
Choice of Pasta


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add can of tomato sauce, 2 cans of tomato paste and 2 cans of water.  Stir well.  Reduce heat to low.  Add black pepper, garlic salt, basil, oregano, bay leaves, crushed red pepper and sugar.  Stir well.  Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, stir regularly.

After 2 hours brown the meat in a separate pan or skillet.  Add browned meat and tomatoes to the sauce pot and stir well.  Cover and cook on low an additional 3-4 hours, stir regularly.

Cook pasta per directions on box.  Serve pasta and sauce with salad, garlic toast and a glass of red wine (optional, for adults only).


For the garlic:  Get a garlic press, it’ll make your life easier!

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The Unexpected Dad

The Unexpected Dad

My name is Paul and I am The Unexpected Dad.My wife and I married late in life and we didn’t really expect to have children (thus the title of my blog). We weren’t opposed to the idea of having children, but just assumed that it was not in the cards for us.

I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!

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  1. Chad

    Wow. I don’t usually cook recipes I find online – to keep with the theme, ha. But, after seeing this, I had to try.

    Seven short hours later and my family was rewarded with spaghetti that is better than any Italian restaurant we’ve tried.

    The end result looks exactly like the picture. I was going to take one – usually don’t do that either – but it looked just like the one here.

    My 6-year-old devours store-bought spaghetti and thought that was his favorite until now.

    The only thing I would leave out next time (if the family is eating it – guys night, it’s on) is the crushed red pepper. It has a pretty decent, more than I expected, kick. I was sweating. The wife and 6 yo were drinking water by the gallon, but still loved it.

    I did make a double batch because I had a couple packages of Italian sausage and there are 5 of us – only one female. It was way more than enough. It’ll feed us for probably 3-4 days! Single portion would have been fine.

    Thanks for stepping out of the norm and posting this. It makes the rotation even at seven hours prep time!

    1. The Unexpected Dad Author
      The Unexpected Dad

      Hi Chad, I’m glad you tried it and liked it, this is a family favorite at my house too.

      The crushed red pepper is definitely optional. The good thing about the seven hours is most of that is just sitting around waiting for it to be done. Not much actual work 🙂

      For the leftovers, I always think it actually tastes even better the next day.


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