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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Mama Leone's Italian Tomato Sauce (Good for Many Uses) Recipe
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    Mama Leone's Italian Tomato Sauce (Good for Many Uses)

    Mama Leone's Italian Tomato Sauce (Good for Many Uses). Photo by Leggy Peggy

    1/5 Photos of Mama Leone's Italian Tomato Sauce (Good for Many Uses)

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    3 hrs 10 mins

    10 mins

    3 hrs

    Leggy Peggy's Note:

    I grew up across the street from a real Mama Leone—an amazing Irish woman who had an Italian husband and a live-in Italian mother-in-law who taught her to cook. This awesome recipe was a neighbourhood favourite. It has been equally popular with everyone who has ever tasted it. It is an all-purpose Italian sauce. I usually make it for spaghetti and have added optional instructions for that purpose. Without the meat, it is vegan friendly. It's also a good pizza sauce base. You can add other herbs, spices and vegetables if you like, but we have always kept it simple. That's why once it was a lifesaver for a friend who is allergic to garlic. The sauce freezes extremely well.

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    My Private Note



    Units: US | Metric

    • 453.59 g tomato sauce (puree)
    • 453.59 g tomato paste (concentrate)
    • 2267.96 g water (that's five cans of water from the tomato cans you've used)
    • 14.78 ml salt (the original recipe called for six, but that is way too salty these days)
    • 59.14 ml white sugar
    • 1.23 ml cinnamon (some friends who make this insist they need to use more cinnamon. I have a very good quality cinnamo)
    • 2 dried hot red chiles (you can substitute chilli flakes about 1/4 teaspoon)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 907.18 g lean hamburger (optional)
    • 2 medium onions, chopped (optional)


    1. 1
      Put all ingredients (except the meat and onions) in a large pot.
    2. 2
      Stir well and bring to a boil. Continue to stir occasionally until it boils, so the cinnamon is incorporated.
    3. 3
      Reduce to a simmer and cook for three to four hours. Continue to stir occasionally. You can speed up this step, if you leave it on a boil, but I think the flavour improves if it is not rushed.
    4. 4
      The sauce needs to cook until it bloops—namely until the sauce splashes out of the pot and makes a bit of a mess on the stove top (or wall in my case).
    5. 5
      Remove and discard the chillies and bay leaves.
    6. 6
      What to do next if you intend to serve this sauce over pasta. Saute the beef until it loses most of its pink colouring, then add the onions and saute until tender.
    7. 7
      Drain off any fat.
    8. 8
      Add meat mixture to cooked sauce and stir well.
    9. 9
      Heat the mixture well, then ladle over pasta.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on October 14, 2013


      I cut back on the salt a little and did not add chilli, but everything else as per recipe.<br/>This was a great sauce for our pasta, a touch of parmesan and served with garlic bread, this made for a wonderful dinner.<br/>Can't wait to try this in the crock pot as on reviewer did!<br/>Thanks Leggy Peggy, this was enjoyed by all.

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    • on February 23, 2011


      Made as directed (without the hot chiles) and I let this cook in my crockpot all day, and the aroma was super. I added ground beef to a little to serve over spaghetti, and saved 6 small cartons in the freezer so I can make quick and easy dinners making meatballs or lasagns, rigatoni or rice. Very versatile and tasty. Thanks for posting a keeper Peggy. Made for Recipe Swap #49.

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    • on November 21, 2010


      This is old fashioned sauce! My friend's mom used to make this every Sunday for dinners and we all loved it through the week. My house smelled so GOOD and reminded so much of my younger teen days. I followed the recipe to the point of cooking on the stove all day. At that point after the boiling, I let cook a bit then transferred to my crockpot. ( I had an appt. so had to leave the house) I cooked on low for several hours and came home to a magnificant smell. We used some for dinner then froze the rest in 1 qt containers. Oh youy have certaily stocked my freezer for sauces. YUMMY. I did use the equivalent of tomatoe puree but from puree I mad from our summer tomatoes. Thank you for Mama's recipe. By the way my friend;s mom was Sixilian married to and Irish man. Must be the blend of Italian and Irish that make this so lovely and aromatic. Made for partner in AUS/NZ Swap Nov 2010.

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    Read All Reviews (10)


    Nutritional Facts for Mama Leone's Italian Tomato Sauce (Good for Many Uses)

    Serving Size: 1 (437 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 10

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 68.3
    Calories from Fat 2
    Total Fat 0.3 g
    Saturated Fat 0.0 g
    Cholesterol 0.0 mg
    Sodium 1305.2 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 16.2 g
    Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
    Sugars 12.5 g
    Protein 2.5 g

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