This is my grandmother’s Italian pasta sauce recipe. It’s been in my family for generations and I hope you enjoy it with your loved ones as much as we have! If you’d like to hear more about this story,click here.
Before we begin, let me just tell you that this recipe requires some time (about 2.5 hours) NO SUGAR! and a whole lot of love! (I’m serious, do NOT put sugar in this recipe, or Nana will literally roll over in her grave!) Also, I have a confession--My great-grandma, (Nana Irene) used to grow a ton of tomatoes in her garden and would always make her sauce with fresh ingredients. But my Nana Rosanne always used canned. This recipe uses canned tomatoes, but you know I'll be experimenting with fresh tomatoes this week and I definitely encourage you to try it out both ways! Here's a link with some helpful tips for using fresh tomatoes:How To Peel And Seed Tomatoes
Nana never wrote down her recipe and she measured everything in the palm of her hand - I think that’s what made it taste so good. So when I asked her for her famous recipe, she didn’t have exact measurements to give me, but I’ve helped her make the sauce plenty of times growing up and I did a test run on this recipe last week and it tasted pretty darn close to the real deal!
I encourage you to test out this recipe a few times, play around the measurements, make it totally your own! My truest hope is that this recipe is the start of a new family tradition that brings you closer to your loved ones!
Ingredients: Diced tomatoes (15.5oz) Tomato Paste (6oz) Tomato Sauce (15oz) Onion (¼ to a full onion depending on your preference) Garlic (2-4 cloves) Olive Oil (2-3tbs) Oregano (approx. 1tbs) Basil (approx.1tbs) Parsley (approx. 1tbs) Salt & Pepper to taste (Meat Optional) (If making a meat sauce, I recommend using equal parts ground beef + ground Italian sausage)
Instructions: Start by adding 2-3 tbs of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add your onion and garlic, stirring constantly to not let your garlic burn. Cook until onion is translucent. Then, add your diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Fill the tomato paste can with water and add it to your sauce and stir. Next, add your tomato sauce. Let simmer for about 2 hours stirring occasionally. 30 minutes before serving, add your oregano, basil, and parsley. Let sit for 30 minutes stirring every few minutes.
In a separate pot, cook your pasta. Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add a few pinches of salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the boiling water. Add your Pastificio Rigatoni pasta to your pot. Cook for 12 minutes stirring every couple of minutes.
Strain water from the pasta. (if you choose to not salt the water, you can use it to water your plants after it’s cooled down. The starch from the water helps promote natural nutrient storage in the soil and will help the soil retain water).
When you’re ready to serve, ladle plenty of sauce over your Pastificio Rigatoni, and cut up some yummy bread to soak up the extra sauce! Enjoy this meal with your loved ones, just as Nana intended!