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  • Writer's picturePeter Jr.

Spaghetti Sauce Ala Pete!

My Take on the Christmas Eve Classic!

Over the years I have adapted and, dare I say, improved upon our traditional childhood Christmas Eve spaghetti sauce. I'll admit that the addition of a whole bottle of Cabernet may have given me an unfair advantage!



  • 4 large cans whole Italian tomatoes.

  • 4 large cans crushed tomatoes.

  • 2 large cans tomato puree.

  • 1 bottle cheap red wine, (Cabernet). Not too cheap if you want a little taste while you’re cooking!

  • 2 cans large black olives, quartered.

  • 1 C. sugar.

  • 4 bay leaves.

  • 1 C. fresh basil, coarsely chopped.

  • Olive Oil

  • Salt & Pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed & coarsely chopped.

  • 1 large onion, diced.

  • 2 large celery stalks, diced.

  • 2 C. sliced brown mushrooms.

  • 2 large yellow pepper, diced.

  • 2 large red pepper diced.

  • 2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage (beef, pork, or turkey).

  • 2 lbs. hot Italian sausage (beef, pork, or turkey).


In heavy, large (10-12 quart) pot combine first set of ingredients. Start to simmer over low heat.

In large skillet, with olive oil, sauté, in shifts, all remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper each “batch” to taste. Sauté garlic, onion, celery, mushrooms, red and green pepper until tender. Add to sauce. Slice sausages into 1-inch pieces and sauté until browned. Add to sauce.

Continue to let sauce simmer, uncovered, over low heat for at least 6-8 hours. Stir regularly. What I usually do is prepare the sauce in the afternoon, let it simmer, uncovered, until bedtime. Then I turn off the burner, cover the pot and let it sit on the stove overnight. In the morning I remove the cover and turn the heat on low and let it simmer all day.

Ladle sauce over al dente vermicelli pasta. Have some fresh grated parmesan on hand for those who want it. A little salad, some garlic bread, a great red wine and you’re all set!

Note: this recipe serves “an army”! Not to worry, if you’re not feeding an army this stuff is even better reheated out of the freezer! Make sure you’ve got plenty of Tupperware on hand and enjoy!


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