For my 25th birthday my dad made a cookbook for me (called the Cookerwoman’s cookbook) with pictures, family recipes and stories from decades of restaurant business and travel from around the country. This is one of the recipes that I have made over and over from that cookbook! It’s definitely a favorite! I have done a couple different versions where I add zucchini, squash, and other veggies or you can keep it simple! I always make a double batch of the recipe and freeze it. It’s easy and delicious- hope you enjoy!


  • 3 (20 ounce) cans of whole tomatoes in puree 
  • 1 (10 oz) can of puree
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tbs black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red crushed pepper
  • 1 Tbs garlic 
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 Tbs Italian seasoning blend
  • a few splashes of (good) balsamic vinegar


  • Chop onion, bell pepper, carrots, and garlic
  • In a skillet over medium heat add olive oil and chopped vegetables. Render them without burning them getting them as clear as possible



  • Open all of the cans of whole tomatoes and crush them with your hands into a prep bowl
  • Add small can of puree to tomato mix and stir. Add 1/2 cup water and stir until fully combined. (make sure there are no large chunks of tomatoes)
  • Add all dry ingredients and rendered vegetables to the sauce in a large pot. Bring to a boil then turn it down to simmer for 45 minutes.


  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Add in a few splashes of balsamic vinegar and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
  • If you want the sauce to be more smooth you can blend it at the end of the process with an emulsion blender or by scooping batches into a blender.


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