Jo Mama's World Famous Spaghetti

"My kids will give up a steak dinner for this spaghetti. It is a recipe I have been perfecting for years and it is so good (if I may humbly say) that my kids are disappointed when they eat spaghetti anywhere else but home! In fact they tell me I should open a restaurant and serve only this spaghetti and garlic bread. In response to requests, I have posted the recipe for Recipe #28559 that uses approximately 1/2 of the sauce from this recipe. Have spaghetti one night and lasagna later! Thanks to all of you who have tried my recipe and have written a review. I read and appreciate every one of them! Chef Note: After I posted this recipe I remembered a funny incident--my dear husband usually has a nice bottle of wine handy so when I make a batch of spaghetti I just help myself to a splash of it. On one occasion, there wasn't a bottle opened, but there was a bottle sitting on the counter so I got out the corkscrew and helped myself. For some reason, the spaghetti that night was the best ever. My husband asked what wine I put in it and I showed him the bottle. He nearly fell off the chair. I had opened a rather expensive bottle he had bought to give his boss. Goes to show you--don't use a wine for cooking you wouldn't drink. You get the best results from a good wine!"
photo by A Marsteller photo by A Marsteller
photo by A Marsteller
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by Nodush photo by Nodush
photo by Ashley Cuoco photo by Ashley Cuoco
photo by keri101 photo by keri101
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
4 quarts




  • 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.

Questions & Replies

  1. This recipe is PERFECT. Of course now I will never buy jarred sauce again ??... but I still thank you! I am curious, do your nutrition facts include the noodles, or just the sauce? You ROCK!!
  2. I absolutely can not have any wine/liquor in anything & it does not all burn off. What to sub with, a broth?? beef or vegetable?? Thanks
  3. Welp. I accidentally just added 1 C of wine instead of 1/4 C wine.
  4. How to print
  5. Can I use just plain ground beef instead of Italian sausage?


  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. This is by far, the best Spaghetti Sauce I have tasted! All those years of perfecting definitely paid off!
  4. 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!
  5. 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.


  1. For best flavor, use certified San Marzano tomatoes.
  2. Add Parmesan cheese into the sauce while cooking. Use no salt added tomatoes. Use ground beef to cut down on sodium content.
  3. This sound really good, but I would leave out the brown sugar and add some dried oregano, sweet basil, italian seasoning and fennel seed. Then let it simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. I live by this recipe. I do my own tweaking for portion reasons. It's only 1 me eating most of the time, but I also switch the parsley, and basil for fresh, I chance the tomatoes to freshly diced, and i also add 1 chopped green pepper, and some chopped mushrooms to the pot. LOVE THIS! LOVE!
  5. I am going to have to give this one 5 stars. It may be the best pasta sauce I've ever tasted. I made two changes out of necessity. I had 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of ground sausage, so I used that instead of running out to the store. I used oregano instead of parsley. I didn't have parsley flakes. Next time I'll use Italian sausage. Not a parsley fan, love oregano. Otherwise, I prepared like instructed. However, after simmering for an hour on the stove, I transferred to the slow-cooker for a few hours on low. I may never buy pasta sauce from the grocery again. This sauce is excellent. Leave out the meat, and it has to be excellent marinara sauce, as well.


I live in the San Francisco area and love it here. I discovered Recipezaar (then Kitchen) in 2001 and have been so happy to have my favorite recipes stored safely here. I am mother to 7 and grandmother to 7. I love to knit, smock, sew, etc., but my favorite hobby of the moment is traditional rug hooking. This is a sample of what I do.? It's called "November".? I dyed most of the wool myself. It is made from wool flannel, cut into strips a little less than 1/4" and then worked into a linen backing. This is my 3rd rug.
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