Summer Harvest Part 2: Pasta Sauce

When Travis and I got married, my mother-in-law gave me the family’s secret recipe for spaghetti sauce. I promised her I would not share it with anyone outside of the family, and I have no intention of breaking that promise.

Over the years, Travis and I have tweaked that recipe, and he recently came up with his own tasty variation. Instead of canning the sauce like our Amish friends, we often make a double batch of this recipe and freeze the leftovers.

Though this recipe calls for canned tomatoes, I’m including it in this two-part Summer Harvest series of blog posts because it doubles as a delicious pizza sauce. Slice garden-grown tomatoes and cut ribbons of fresh basil to top a Margherita pizza. Dice homegrown bell peppers and add them to a veggie pizza.

*Read Part 1 of the Summer Harvest series here.


  • 1, 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (San Marzano, an Italian plum tomato, are preferred)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1, 8-ounce package of mushrooms, sliced (baby bella or white)
  • 3-4 teaspoons of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of salt
  • balsamic vinegar, if desired, to taste


  1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a stock pot on the stove top.
  2. Add the mushrooms and onion to the pot and saute.
  3. Add the oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf and garlic.
  4. Cook for about five minutes or until the onions sweat down.
  5. Add the tomatoes.
  6. Cover the pot and kill the heat (low).
  7. Simmer for an hour.
  8. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of balsamic vinegar, to taste, if desired.

Try this sauce with your favorite pasta dishes, pizza, or as a dipping sauce for garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, or breaded mushrooms. We hope you enjoy!

As always, I’d love to hear from you. We can connect on social media and through email at Thank you for reading.