Rae Bates photo

A Year of Columns

For a year now I’ve been sharing random thoughts with you. I’ve shared recipes. I’ve shared some of my expertise. I hope you’ve learned something and been entertained. I’ve enjoyed every minute.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I hope you’ll stick with me for the next year, as well.

I’d love to hear from you. Is there a topic you’d like for me to cover? Is there a cuisine you’d like me to explore? Just let me know.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share my family’s favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. It’s undergone some changes through the years. I first got it from a family I attended church with as a teen. If I recall properly (that was a lot of years ago), the family had Sicilian roots, and this was a family recipe. Over the years I first adjusted it to add a bit more heat. More recently I’ve removed a little of the heat and made it a bit sweeter. To be honest, I don’t really use a recipe anymore unless I’m making it for company.

A few years ago I started using San Marzano tomatoes. They come from a particular region of Italy, and the taste is amazing. I’ve had to go outside our community to get them, but I think it’s worth it. The only brand I’ve found locally is Cento, and I don’t think it has the same flavor as the others I’ve tried; it tastes more like standard canned tomatoes. So it will work, but it won’t taste quite as good, in my opinion.

This is a thick, hearty sauce, so you’ll want to serve it over regular spaghetti or another sturdy pasta. It will overwhelm thin spaghetti.

May your week ahead be filled with sunshine.

Rae’s Sweet & Spicy Spaghetti SauceRae of Sunshine logo

1 lb hot Italian sausage*
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 T olive oil
3 t salt, divided
1 can, 29 oz, crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1 can, 8 oz, San Marzano tomato sauce
3 cans, 8 oz each, tomato paste
3 tomato paste cans of water
2½ T sugar
1 t garlic powder
2 t black pepper
2 T oregano
2 T basil
1 T parsley
1 t cayenne pepper

In a large, heavy skillet brown sausage, garlic, olive oil, and 1 t salt. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 2 hours.

*If you use mild or sweet Italian sausage, add ¾ t cayenne pepper to sausage as you’re browning it.


Rea Bates is an independent Consultant with the Pampered Chef. You can see her Facebook Page by clicking HERE. Her column appears each Sunday in Peru Indiana Today.