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Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti


  • 2lbs Italian sausage, casings removed (mild or hot)
  • 1small onion, chopped (optional)
  • 3 -4garlic cloves, minced
  • 1(28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2(6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2(15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2cups water (for a long period of simmering for flavors to meld. If you don't want to simmer it as long, add less)
  • 3teaspoons basil
  • 2teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 1⁄2teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4-1⁄2teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1⁄4teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4cup red wine (a good Cabernet!)
  • 1lb thin spaghetti
  • parmesan cheese


  • In large, heavy stockpot, brown Italian sausage, breaking up as you stir.
  • Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
  • Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.
  • Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
  • Stir well and barely bring to a boil.
  • Stir in red wine.
  • Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour. A longer simmer makes for a better sauce, just be careful not to let it burn!
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  • Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


  • BarbaraK

    This is excellent! I made it with 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound mild italian sausage and I simmered it for about 2 1/2 hours. And, we haven’t actually had it as a meal yet, but of course I tried it before I put it in the freezer for a later date. It is GOOD!

  • JoAnn

    This recipe was good. The ingredients all worked well together, and the wine added a nice flavor. I used 1 lb. hamburger and 1 lb. Italian sausage (personal preference). I did think the sauce would/should have been thicker. There seemed to be a lot of meat and not enough “tomato” sauce. Maybe I’ll add only 1 lb. of meat next time.

  • Teresa M

    Sharlene~W, This Was EXCELLENT, Permanent Keeper in our house! I followed other’s suggestions of only ½ the water, and only 1 lb. of Italian sausage + 1 lb of ground beef and it turned out great. I will Definitely be making this again! This does make a lot, enough to freeze for another meal. I did add double garlic and onions in it because we like them so much. P.S. Our daughter thinks the name (Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti) is cool too, and spaghetti is her favorite. Usually she asks if the sauce is Ragu or not, then she grabs the garlic powder. I don’t that’s gonna happen for supper tonight. Thanks for another great Keeper! P.S. It didn’t happen tonight, everyone loved it!

  • mosscom

    I like the flavor that the sausage gives to this recipe. It makes a nice change from ground beef flavor. Like most cooks, I modified the recipe slightly. I used about a half pound of sweet Italian sausage, which I cooked and then drained on paper towels to remove as much grease as possible. The sauce is nice and thick and works well for Once A Month Cooking because it freezes nicely. I’ll make this one again. UPDATE: I won’t be buying the bottled sauce any more and I threw out my old spaghetti sauce recipe! I have several containers of this sauce in my freezer now. The one change I made was to lower the fat content by using only 1/2 pound of sweet Italian sausage. I fried the sausage and drained it well before using. The taste is still great even with much less meat. I put this recipe in my Once a Month Cooking file.

  • Jan Marie

    Wonderful taste. I shredded country style pork that I cooked in a pressure cooker and added it along with 1 lb sausage and ground beef. I also use a trick from my daughter’s Italian mother-in-law: at the end of cooking, add a tsp baking soda. It foams up and simmers down, taking the acid out of the tomatoes so the sauce doesn’t talk back to you. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful creation!

  • Marie Nixon

    This turned out very good. I made half a recipe since there are only 3 of us in the family. I added some pork neckbones to the sauce while it was simmering. That is supposed to add alot of flavor to a spaghetti sauce. I was a little unsure of the 2 cups of water so I added about 1 3/4 cups. Next time I think I will only add 1 cup or possibly leave it out altogether.

  • Amber Dawn

    This is by far, the best Spaghetti Sauce I have tasted! All those years of perfecting definitely paid off!

  • Shari2

    Tastes very good but next time I make it I will only put in 1 pound of sausage. My DH is very picky when it comes to spaghetti sauce and he liked this one. Very easy to make also.

  • Caryn

    Wow, this was a great sauce – restaurant quality in my opinion! I followed the recipe exactly (mild Italian sausage), and simmered for about 2 1/2 hours. It had an excellent flavor with the ingredients all melded together, and I loved the bite from the crushed red pepper. My husband LOVED the Italian sausage (I usually use ground beef), and he picked your recipe hands down over my mom’s recipe (and I have to agree). Lucky for him this recipe makes 4 quarts because there is sauce in the freezer for later. This has become my new spaghetti sauce recipe. Thanks! NOTE: Next time I might drain my sausage just to be a little more health conscious but I will tell you that I was surprised that I didn’t notice the sausage grease in the sauce because it was a homogeneous mixture (no separation).

  • Kellybelly

    I used 1 lb. HOT Italian sausage & 1 lb. ground chuck. I only used enough water to rinse all the tomato cans. I also added 1 large jar sliced mushrooms and 1 can sliced black olives. It has been simmering now for 1 1/2 hours (I intend to go for 2-3), tastes UNBELIEVABLY good, and is definitely the best I’ve ever made (and I’ve tried many recipes). Thank you to all the other “commenters” too!