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Slow-Simmered Spicy Pasta Sauce

I don't call this "spaghetti sauce" because you can use it on just about any type of pasta. And yes, it has carrots in it. Deal.


  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cups tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar

  • 1/4 tsp dried basil

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 2 large carrots, chopped

  • 3 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 lb (4 oz) white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 medium orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped


  • In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Drain the fat and reserve on a plate.

  • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until hot.

  • Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Be careful to not let the garlic burn.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the cooked sausage, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and wine until well combined.

  • Stir in the carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper.

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 4 to 5 hours to allow the flavors to blend.


  • You can substitute beef broth for the wine if you don't like cooking with alcohol.

  • The sauce should thicken while cooking. If it hasn't, add a slurry of arrowroot. Do NOT use cornstarch. Cornstarch and tomato products are not a good combination.

  • You can make this sauce up to 2 months in advance if you cover and freeze it after preparation.