Thick and Hearty Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Growing up, everything was homemade and most of the ingredients came from our garden.

Thick and Hearty Venison and Sausage Pasta Sauce

Thick and Hearty Venison and Sausage Pasta Sauce

Delicious Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Growing up, everything was homemade and most of the ingredients came from our garden. My mom and dad both grew up poor and with fathers that farmed for a living. My mom's dad was a share-cropper in Missouri, and my grandma picked cotton. Sounds like something straight out of an old Southern novel, I know, but that's how they fed their family.

My dad's father was a different type of farmer. He made his living by farming silver foxes. He raised the animals for their pelts back in the day when there was a demand for the fur. All of this farming and working the land stuck with my parents far into their years and all of us kids benefitted from it by not only eating fresh food but also by learning how to cook with the ingredients Mother Earth provided us with.

Now that I am older, I still love to use fresh ingredients, and I will always use fresh over canned or packaged when possible, but unfortunately, that is not always an option.

This wonderful, thick spaghetti sauce is an example of combining fresh and pre-packaged ingredients; although, if all fresh ingredients are available, I would absolutely use those! This is a large batch recipe that freezes and reheats like a champ. It's delicious on spaghetti or your favorite pasta and is amazing in lasagna. I will share my lasagna recipe with you at a later date.

Vine-fresh tomatoes

Vine-fresh tomatoes


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 pounds venison burger
  • 2 pounds mild Italian sausage
  • 3 cups fresh chopped mushrooms, or 5 (4-ounce) cans
  • 4 (14.5-ounce) cans Italian style stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 (29-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 4 (12-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons salt, depending on personal preference


  1. In a 5-quart pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms to pot and let cook for 5 minutes stirring often.
  4. Turn heat up to medium-high, and add venison and Italian sausage. Mix everything together and continue cooking until sausage and venison are cooked through and crumbled. Stir often while cooking.
  5. Add stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  6. Mix in Italian seasoning.
  7. Mix ingredients well and heat until sauce is just beginning to boil.
  8. Add tomato paste and mix thoroughly.
  9. Add pepper and sugar. Be sure to taste at this point.
  10. Add salt to taste 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring thoroughly until desired taste is achieved.
  11. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
  12. Once sauce boils turn on low heat, cover and let cook 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

How to Enhance This Recipe

  • When using canned stewed tomatoes, I use my clean kitchen shears, and I cut the tomatoes into small pieces right in the cans.
  • For thick and rich sauce, a general rule of thumb for tomato paste is two 12-ounce cans per one 29-ounce can of tomato sauce added.
  • Freeze leftover sauce in freezer bags. When you are ready to use it, immerse it in hot water to thaw, then reheat it on the stove over medium heat. It's excellent in the crockpot, too!


Rate This Recipe


Lena Durante from San Francisco Bay Area on May 11, 2017:

I still do eat them off the vine! Especially cherry tomatoes; they're just like candy. I especially like to dry them, because they end up tasting just like fruit leather, but without any added sugar at all.

Fern Bailey (author) from Michigan on May 11, 2017:

It is so delicious and I love fresh tomatoes! I remember eating the right off the vine as a kid. That's the best!

Sissi Ravano on May 10, 2017:

Looking good the spaghetti dish, its always a delicious dish and its not difficult to make it. My son will never get tired of its taste. Good idea on using the venison burger, will try next time. Thank you, Fern

Lena Durante from San Francisco Bay Area on May 10, 2017:

I like to use fresh ingredients wherever I can, too, especially straight from the garden. But I also preserve some of what I grow, because there's always more than we can eat. With the tomatoes I dry and can, we get to enjoy them all year round.

If I can find some ground venison, I will definitely try this. It looks delicious, and you posted it just in time for tomato season!

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