Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big Mama's Sugo

When I got married, Kelly said to me, "Can you make my grandmother's pasta sauce?" So I called my mother-in-law and asked for the recipe. She sent me an email and this is what it said: Tomato sauce, water, wine, sugar, garlic.

It took a few years (and some changes of my own) before I perfected it. Now we keep pasta sauce in the freezer, at all times, for any occasion.

3 28-oz cans of tomato sauce
3 28-oz cans of water
1 C red wine (I usually use whatever I have in the house, but Yellow Tail is always dependable)
1 C light brown sugar
1/4 C crushed garlic (I use the garlic that comes in a jar - easier than trying to crush that many cloves)
3 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 hour. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It should reduce by half. Let cool. Remove and discard bay leaves. Divide into freezer-proof containers that are big enough for one meal. Freeze. Remove one at a time, as needed, for spaghetti, lasagna, rigatoni...whatever you want!

It's actually better if you let it freeze before you eat it. This allows the acid in the tomatoes to really combine with the rest of the flavors.

* Cooking note: Because it cooks for so long, the alcohol cooks out of the wine. It's in there for flavor, so it's safe for children and non-drinkers.


  1. A blog I can relate to. Please tweet wen you post. Thanks

    Here is a fast one. Marinate "quick peel" shrimp in Chicken Montreal seasoning(a lot of it)and olive oil for 4 or more hours. Grill on high heat until almost done. Cover with foil and it will cook the rest of the way. Enjoy.

    Jeff Bannister

  2. Jeff - that sounds great! We'll try it.

  3. Oh Gini! I LOVE sugo sauce! Will definitely try to make this soon.

  4. Paige - It's SO easy! Just takes some time because you have to let it cook for a bit.

  5. Gini! I just found this recipe! Lol. Making it today! What don't have a ton of extra time for posting recipes to your blog anymore? ;)