Grandma Rossi’s Red Sauce & Sausage

This recipe is near and dear to my heart. This is a family heirloom passed down generations, each exchange a peek into my heritage. It’s one of the first recipes I saw my mom make that made me want to cook. This, my friends, is the best pasta sauce you’ll ever eat. Period.

Now, obviously recipes change and evolve depending on who is making it. I rarely make something the same way twice. I make this sauce a bit different than my mom makes it. She makes it different than my grandma did, and so on. I have, over the years, come up with these ratios and methods to make what is, in my mind, the tastiest sauce ever.

There isn’t much secret, no special ingredient. Just goodness. 🙂 I think it’ll make gramma proud.

Italian Sausage


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano, dried Italian seasoning, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

-Mix all together with your hands in a large bowl.

-Take a ‘meatball sized chunk’, roll into a 2-3 inch cylinder. Repeat until all meat is formed.

-Heat a medium skillet over med/high heat. Add 4-5 sausages, turn when browned. Cook until all sides are browned, repeat with all sausages. Place in a bowl off to the side. (They don’t need to be fully cooked through)



  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • salt & pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 carrot

-In a heavy bottomed, large pot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium.

-Add onion and mushrooms. Cook until softened. Add garlic, stir and cook another minute.

-Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Keep the can. Into the can add the tomato paste, fill with water. Mix paste and water until smooth.

-Pour mixture into the pot, stir. Add another 1/2 cup of water.

-Sprinkle 1 tbls salt and 1 tsp pepper, 2 tbls Italian seasoning, and bay leaf. Stir well.

-At this point, taste the sauce. It shouldn’t be too salty, as it’s going to simmer and reduce down. It should taste like you want to add a little more salt, but you’re not going to. 🙂

-Stick the whole carrot into the sauce, bring to a light boil.

-Add our sausages in, submerging them. Then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook. Check every hour for seasoning and give it a good stir. Cook at least 3 hours, and up to 6.

-In the meantime, cook up a spaghetti squash or make some arrowroot noodles! (Recipe coming soon!)

-I promise your house to smell like heaven. I also promise it to be delicious.


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