People ask me all the time to teach them how to make the best tomato sauce. I am good but no one and, I MEAN NOBODY, makes traditional tomato sauce (or Ragu) as good as my Mom and Dad! You want Dad to teach you! Not me. Dad and I make his sauce together in this YouTube Video. When they cooked, it’s a lot of eyeballing. I did my best to get the steps and measurements as accurate as possible. Dad shares with us the story of how he and Mom came to America from Naples. He was a little shier than I anticipated but it is a sweet step by step video. Scroll down for a VEGAN recipe alternative.

Flavorful rich everyday sauce with tender, yummy meat. Toss with any pasta, make lasagna, baked pasta… we wouldn’t use it for pizza. That is a different sauce but of course you could.


1.5 pounds of pork spar ribs (or any raw meat you have that you need to use up), Hormone free, grass fed, organic is best

6 Tbl oil, divided

1/3 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 tsp black pepper ground

1 clove chopped garlic

1- 2 tsp sea salt (we do 1 in the video because they add parmesan to final product)

1/2 tsp dried Basil (or 1 TBL Fresh chopped Basil, FRESH IS ALWAYS BETTER)

1 1/2 tsp dried Oregano (or 1-1.5 TBL Fresh chopped Oregano, FRESH IS ALWAYS BETTER)

1 Tbl sugar

1/2 cup red wine

28 oz Tomato puree or chopped tomato, organic is best (again pureed fresh tomatoes is BEST!)

3 oz tomato paste (the rest of the can always gets buried in my fridge so I freeze it and use it as needed)

Parmesan rind (optional)

Other spice to add- chili flakes, parsley, rosemary…)

24 (ish) oz of water


  1. In a heavy bottom stainless or cast iron pan- Get the pan hot on high, add oil, add the meat and brown or caramelize on both sides. About 5 minutes. This renders out the fat and brings out the natural flavor of the meat. Pull meat from pan and set aside in a dish.
  2. Use a new stainless heavy bottom sauce pan, get remaining it hot on med-high then add 4 Tbl oil. Add the carrots, onions and celery. Sauté until translucent. About 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. DO NOT OVERCOOK! It will burn fast. As soon as you get the lovely cooked garlic odor, it is done!
  4. Add the wine and cook it out until it evaporates. About 5 minutes. You can increase to high to evaporate it faster if you need to.
  5. Add the tomato paste and 4 oz of water. Stir and blend. Let the water evaporate. Another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato puree (or crushed tomato) with 20 oz of water.
  7. Add the spices and sugar. Stir to incorporate. IF USING PARESAN RIND, add at this point.
  8. Let it simmer on med- low heat for about 40 minutes. During this time, stir and check on it every 10-15 minutes. If it starts to get too dry or burn, add 6 oz of water. For us in the video, it was fine until the 40 minute mark.
  9. This is all demonstrated in the video. It was starting to get thick so we added 4 more oz. Then let it cook another 30-40 minutes. FOR VEGAN SEE NOTE BELOW!
  10. We checked it again and it was done. Tender meat, flavorful rich sauce. Toss with any pasta, make lasagna, baked pasta…I wouldn’t use it for pizza. That is a different sauce but of course you could.
  11. Buon Appetito!

NOTE FOR VEGAN- Sauté mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, etc., in some oil and set aside. Follow instructions, omitting the meat obviously, then add the sautéed veggies at bullet point 9. You want to let the sauce cook alone for 30-40 minutes then add the veggies for about 30-40 minutes. It is a quicker and just as yummy sauce!