Kicked Up Spaghetti Sauce

Sometimes you need a great spaghetti sauce and you don’t have time to slave over a stove all day.  This semi-homemade recipe will give you great homemade flavor in half the time and it works great as a meat sauce for any type of pasta, not just spaghetti.  Save time without sacrificing flavor by kicking up your store bought spaghetti sauce at the next family 20150523_201907spaghetti dinner.


1 lb of Ground Beef

1 lb of Sweet or Spicy Italian Sausage

1 small onion diced

1 bell pepper diced

3 cloves of garlic minced

½ to ¾ cup of red wine

2 Medium tomatoes diced or 1 regular can of diced Italian seasoned tomatoes

67 oz Commercially Produced Spaghetti Sauce (I use Prego, but any brand will do, pick your favorite)

1 can of mushrooms drained

1 can of sliced black olives drained

8 fresh basil leaves minced

3 tbsp of fresh parsley minced

2 tsp of oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 bay leaves


Brown the ground beef and Italian sausage and drain.  Next, sauté the onion and green pepper once the onions are translucent add the garlic and stir for 30-40 seconds.  Deglaze the pan with the red wine and add the tomatoes and remaining 8 ingredients.  Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer.  The longer this sauce simmers the better it will be, I usually start the simmer and then proceed with the rest of my meal planning.  By the time the pasta is done and dinner is ready to serve I have a decent kicked up semi-homemade sauce.  If you have the time I would allow 30-45 minutes for the simmer at a minimum.

This usually yields enough for my family of four to eat on it about two or three times.  So, if you have leftovers throw them in the freezer making round two and/or three even easier.




¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

6 small ripe firm tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced

2 cloves of garlic

8 tsp of basil

Cayenne pepper to taste

¼ teaspoon of salt

Half a red onion diced
Combine all ingredients in a bowl the night before and allow to marinate in the refrigerator. Then serve on crackers, hard baguette, French bread, etc.

Copyright 2011, Todd Vick