Mum's Best Spaghetti Sauce

    17 hours 20 mins

    A simple, slow cooked, authentic spaghetti sauce, as good as the restaurants serve...or better! The secret ingredient is bicarbonate of soda, but do not taste the sauce right after adding it. Wait a while, and this sauce will not disappoint you. It is good right from the stove, but the flavors blend overnight. Best served with your favourite meatball recipe, where the meatballs cook in the sauce the last half hour. Be prepared to take a nap after eating.

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    Serves: 8 

    • 4 (400g) cans whole peeled tomatoes
    • 2 (400g) cans tomato sauce
    • 4 (200g) cans tomato paste
    • 3 cups (750ml) water
    • 4 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
    • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 teaspoons caster sugar
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian basil
    • salt to taste
    • ground black pepper to taste
    • 2 pinches bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/4 cup (20g) grated Parmesan cheese

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:5hr  ›  Extra time:12hr cooling  ›  Ready in:17hr20min 

    1. Mix together whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, mushrooms, onions, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, basil, and 1 pinch of bicarbonate of soda in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 4 hours minimum.
    2. Stir in another pinch of bicarbonate soda; the sauce will foam. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and almost brown. Make sure to scrape the sides of the pan in to the sauce.
    3. After the sauce is fork consistency, stir in Parmesan cheese. Watch that the cheese does not burn. Taste sauce. If it is too tangy or acidic, add another pinch of bicarbonate soda and simmer another 1/2 hour.
    4. Cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, reheat and serve.

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    Reviews in English (101)


    This is a good recipe for starters. I am 100% italian and my family owns restuarants all over where I live. My homemade recipe is very similar to this, however I deleted the mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and the baking soda. I add a little more garlic then this recipe calls for and NO water. I also add oregano to mine. When cooking it is important to cook the onions and garlic in some olive oil first. This brings out the flavor. I also add the fresh parsley basil and oregano (chopped), and salt and pepper to that first and cook a few minutes. Then I add the whole tomatoes and the juice in the can, very important to take your hands to them and crush them a little. I let that come to a boil first before adding the sauce. After adding the sauce, I simmer and let it cook for 3 or 4 hours, stirring occasionally with the lid partially on. I also add additional seasoning as I taste and go along. What really turns the sauce unbelievably awesome is that I make meatballs seperately in a frying pan and once they are cooked I add them to the sauce during the last hour. WOW! gives the sauce such an awesome flavor.  -  14 Apr 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is the best spaghetti sauce. My first two wives were italian. There spaghetti sauce was good. This recipe is as good or better. I did make a couple changes. I deleted the mushrooms my present wife hates mushrooms, I would like to keep her. I did not use the Parmesan cheese either. I did add crushed red peppers, a little fresh parsley and I know that oregano never goes in spaghetti sauce but I did the unthinkable(just a little). We usually feed the dogs the left over spaghetti, not this time. The dogs want me to go back to Prego, They love spaghetti. Great recipe THANKS.  -  21 May 2003  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Was my first time to make homemade sauce - definitely a keeper! I added 1 tsp. dried basil, 1 tsp. oregano, and 2 bay leaves - really would have been too tomatoey without the extra spices. I cooked the sauce 6-8 hours, and added my grandma's homemade meatballs to it the last 3 hours. Wow! Thanks for the recipe!  -  13 Nov 2001  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)