Meat(Less) Tomato Sauce - Sicilian Style

Total Time
1hr 50mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

This is my mom's sauce and it has taken me some time to perfect it to be as good as hers. You can use fresh tomatoes or use good quality canned tomatoes. If you don't want a meat sauce, then just omit it and fry the onions and garlic in olive oil. It's best to make this early in the day or even the day before you plan to use it to allow the flavors to mix.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Empty the tomatoes into a large saucepan and turn the heat to medium.
  2. In the meantime, heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.
  3. When hot, add the ground beef and stir it around until brown.
  4. You do not need to add oil as the fat from the beef will suffice.
  5. When the meat is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess oil to drip back into the skillet, and transfer the meat to the saucepan of tomatoes and stir.
  6. Add the onions and garlic to the fat in the skillet and cook until the onion is tender.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon, again, allowing the excess oil to drip back into the skillet and stir into the tomatoes.
  8. Stir in the salt, sugar and basil.
  9. Bring sauce to a boil, cover, then turn down the heat to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  10. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit on the stove until you are ready to use it.
  11. If you are planning to use it the next day, refrigerate when cooled.
  12. Reheat as necessary or freeze for future use.


Most Helpful

I made approximately a third of the recipe with a quart of home canned tomatoes, 1/2 onion and 1 clove garlic. I used it for pizza sauce so left out the meat and simmered a bit longer till it thickened up. I loved the rich fresh flavor and aroma! I will surely use this again but will blend it next time so my husband will eat it. (He likes to think he doesn't eat vegetables ;) )And I like the idea of making a bunch and freezing it-a great idea for a homemade OAMC menu. Thanks for sharing a tried and true family recipe!

Kaarin March 17, 2008

I used a tin of diced tomatoe's as that is what I had, extra lean beef, Splenda and dried basil. I also added a few mushrooms that I had needing to be used up. I made a third of the recipe and that fed 3 adults with leftovers for tomorrows lunch (for one). Yumm. Made for Photo Tag.

Annacia March 14, 2008

This was so good. I used dried basil, because I already had that on hand. The teaspoon of sugar was a little odd, but it went very well with the rest of the recipe.

Studentchef August 27, 2007

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