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Memaw's Red Sauce

Memaw made her famous meatballs and red sauce a couple of times a year, and it was one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I pick up grocery store red sauce often, but they just don’t compare to her homemade version. The flavors are so deep and rich. This recipe makes more than you will need for a recipe of her meatballs. I put the extra in the freezer to use later for a meat sauce.

Memaw's Red Sauce


2 slices of bacon

1/2 cup olive oil

3 large onions, chopped

1 bunch of celery, chopped

1 whole garlic bulb, minced

3 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes

1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste

4 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 cups of water

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried basil

3 tablespoons parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen Bouquet to darken color

1 cup grated parmesan cheese


I begin by chopping the onions, celery and garlic in the food processor. To a large Dutch oven, add bacon and olive oil. Add in the chopped vegetables and sauté at medium heat about 10 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the cheese. Bring to a simmer and cook several hours. Remove the bacon slices. Lastly, add the cheese, adjust the salt and pepper and adjust the color using the Kitchen Bouquet.

I use this red sauce with Memaw's Meatballs, and there is always extra to put in the freezer for a later use.

FNPP Memaw's Red Sauce
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