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My Simplest Tomato Sauce With Sausage... And A Few Secrets...

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

A wonderfully made tomato sauce is a thing of beauty; savory and rich with a hint of sweetness. Often that result will take you hours to achieve, but that doesn't fly with me. I add a few unconventional ingredients to get as much flavor as possible in the shortest amount of time. This homemade sauce is delicious, luscious, and quick, but you have to throw tradition out the window to make it.


  • 16 ounces hot Italian sausage

  • 16 ounces dried pasta (rigatoni)

  • 28 ounce canned crushed tomato

  • 14 ounces of water

  • ¼ yellow onion

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon cajun seasoning

  • ½ teaspoon chicken powder

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flake

  • ¼ teaspoon white sugar

  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Salt to taste

  • Freshly grated parmesan for garnish

Bring a large heavy pot up to medium heat. While that is preheating, Dice your onion and finely mince your garlic. My preferred way of cutting an onion is as follow; cut in half from root to stem end, remove the skin, place one half flat side down, make 3 horizontal cuts through to the root from the stem, make vertical cuts, complete the dice with a perpendicular cut (see video). Or you could just cut it however you like!

When your pot has come up to temperature, add enough oi to coat the bottom of the pot. Add your sausage and chop with a metal spatula. Continue cooking and mixing until well browned (close to 10 minutes). Add your onions and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add your canned tomatoes, water, seasonings and sugar. I hold off on adding too much salt here. Scrape the bottom of the pot and bring to a heavy simmer.

Leave over medium heat uncovered for about 10 minutes. Give the pot a good stir and leave for another 10 minutes. Another stir and another 10 minutes. This is a great time to bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook your pasta. At this point, give the sauce a taste and judge if it needs another 10 minutes of cooking. Cook the pasta 1 minute shorter than the instructions on the package.

The sauce should be darker in color and reduced so you can see the meat. It will be much thicker in texture. Give it one final taste test and adjust to your taste (I usually go for a little more chili flake). Drain your pasta and pour into the pot with all the sauce. Mix the pasta so all noodles are coated in the delicious sauce, and taste again. Serve with some grated cheese, or just eat out of the pot. Enjoy!

I really hope you make this and let me know what you think!



Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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