Friday, September 6, 2013

Healthy & Easy Ragu-Style Pizza/Pasta Sauce ~ Printable Recipe

Most children are born with the extinct to shy away from anything lumpy in their food supply. I think this is the reason for success with Ragu sauces. Unfortunately, we don't place much trust in the ingredients that are hidden behind the words, "spices" and "natural flavors" which most commercial foods embrace. I used to think it meant garlic, thyme and other innocent herbs that they wanted to keep secret for the sake of protecting the recipe. Sadly, it is for the sake of protecting the evil ingredients that they cover up with vague, non-descript words. 

Here is a simple to make and healthy version of Ragu sauce that your children will love (and you will too!). You can double the recipe to make two quarts (freeze one for the future).

  • tomato sauce, 1 quart (or 1 liter or approx. 32 oz can)
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • approx. 2 or 3 tbsp. oil (your choice but I used sunflower)
  • 5 cloves, freshly minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning, few sprinkles worth
  • 1 - 2 tbsp. honey (I used 1 tbsp.)
  • freshly ground pepper, a few grinds
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

Saute chopped onions in oil for a few minutes. 

Add fresh minced garlic to the pan once the onion starts to soften.

Let it sauté a few more minutes and add tomato sauce.

Bring to a simmer and add a few sprinkles of Italian Seasoning.

After five minutes of simmering, remove from heat.

Add 1 tbsp. honey (or more if you like sweeter). Mix in until dissolved.

Add a few grinds of fresh, black pepper and taste for salt.

Let sauce cool to room temperature. 

Blend sauce until slightly smooth.

Add between 1/8 to 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and blend in (we used 1/4 cup)
(if you are dairy free, you can omit this step).

Pour into a clean jar and refrigerate. Your pizza/pasta sauce is ready to use :)

A printable recipe is shared below. Simply press the download (the arrow) button to save and print.

Food for thought:

"A good upbringing means not that you won't spill sauce on the tablecloth,
but that you won't notice it when someone else does."
- Anton Chekhov


  1. JES, this looks and sounds so delicious! Definitely better than Ragu :) I would much rather make my own sauce so your recipe is now on the list to try - thank you!

    Have a great weekend. Hugs!

  2. Thank you for the recipe!
    I bet the Italian seasoning and the Parmesan really add to the flavor.
    I have made spaghetti sauce in the past.
    Surprisingly, it called for carrots, which
    thickened it. It was yummy!

    1. I'm sure it was! As a side note, I also will blend in any cooked/steamed veggies I have in my fridge. You would hardly know they were there. A good way to get spinach down those little mouths :)

      Thanks for sharing here today!

  3. What a great, simple sauce! I like the idea of freezing some for later too.
    Visiting from Farmgirl Friday. :)

  4. I never thought adding honey, I will save the recipe. I love the idea of adding any veggie:) I hope you and your family had a great Summer! Blessings~

    1. Thank you Sara :) I am trying to wean off of sugar… Very hard but honey is a healthy replacement and does well in this sauce...

  5. Jes, do you make your own tomato sauce? We recently tried a similar recipe that did not have the oil or honey, we didn't make it again ;). We will try yours, the next time we make sauce. Thank you!

    1. Okay, I see you found it :) And I do have to say, the oil and honey really helps… And if using healthy oils (such as olive, etc.) and raw honey (notice the heat is off when you add it so it hopefully doesn't kill the good enzymes) then I would think this would be a healthy choice too :)

    2. I missed that, hopefully would have caught it when the actual process happened! I'm fighting the sugar free thing something horrible! Which only tells me further "It's not good for me!" One of these days, sometimes it's all about baby steps...

    3. I am working on it too! VERY HARD!!! I have an awful 3'clock sweet tooth that is always haunting me...

    4. I always add a bit of vinegar to compensate for citric acid. letc c how this one goes

  6. can this recipe be canned? I am sure the cheese would have to be omitted.

    1. Great question! I can't be sure of the acid that would need to be added (Lemon juice) and the safe canning time unfortunately... Perhaps it's better to find a similar recipe in the Ball canning guide...