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Spaghetti with Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

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Spaghetti with Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti with Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

Jessica Braider
It’s amazingly easy to make homemade pasta sauce, and the other benefit is you can decide how much salt or sugar to add (you’re not going to believe how sweet this sauce tastes without any added sugar). You can make the sauce several days in advance, it gets even better with age.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt or more to taste (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped, or use 1 Tbsp. dried
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 16 oz. spaghetti (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)


  • Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the garlic and sauté it for 30 – 60 seconds until it is fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes, 7 oz. water (add the water to the tomato can and swish it around to get the extra tomato sauce out before adding it to the sauce), salt (optional), pepper, basil, and cheese, bring it to a boil, and simmer it uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30 – 60 minutes, or as time allows (the longer it simmers, the thicker and more flavorful it becomes).
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
  • Drain the spaghetti, return it to the pot, and combine it with the sauce. Cover it for a few minutes to give the flavors a chance to meld, and serve it, topped with additional cheese and pepper, if desired, or refrigerate it for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Add all ingredients except the spaghetti to the slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Peel the garlic, chop the basil if using fresh (Note: it’s ok if it discolors because it will be incorporated into the sauce), grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, cook the spaghetti and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic and add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce.
Tip: If you only have whole or diced canned tomatoes, stick them in the blender to puree them for this recipe.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 277, Total Fat: 5g, 7.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 4.5%; Cholesterol: 1mg, 0.5%; Sodium: 385mg, 16%; Total Carbohydrate: 49g, 16%; Dietary Fiber: 4g, 13.5%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 9g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword Dinner, Fall, Freezer-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter
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