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The Trick to Making Real Italian Pasta Sauce

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You may have heard whispers of family secret pasta sauce recipes, passed down from one generation to the next, or the buzz of getting the perfect list of ingredients from the top chefs. However, when it comes to making the most authentic Italian pasta sauce, it's quite simple: Simmer the sauce for hours. With a list of easy ingredients and a slow cooker, the trick to making mouth-watering red sauce is right in your own kitchen.

This sauce is made best in the Crock-Pot® 6-Quart Slow Cooker with Stovetop-Safe Cooking Pot, which allows you to complete both steps - sauteeing and slow cooking - in one pot! The double-duty DuraCeramic™ stovetop-safe cooking pot can be used over the stovetop to sear and brown the necessary ingredients and then seamlessly transfers back to your slow cooker for the next steps. Not only will this create less mess and hassle for you, but it will also help to seal in flavor!

Italian Pasta Sauce
Rich in taste and slightly sweet, this homemade sauce serves well over just about any Italian dish you can think of.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 1 carrot (1/2 grated)
  • 8 cloves of fresh garlic (or more to taste), finely minced
  • 5 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme leaves 
  • 1 sprig of fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 2 sprigs of parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)


  1. Add olive oil, onions, grated carrot (1/2) and garlic to DuraCeramic™ stovetop-safe cooking pot.
  2. Saute over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  3. Transfer cooking pot to slow cooker.
  4. Add tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt and bay leaves.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  6. Remove bay leaves and discard.
  7. When finished, stir in 1 tablespoon of honey.
There is only one trick to making the best Italian pasta sauce.There is only one trick to making the best Italian pasta sauce.
Due to the slow ramp up, and even heating of a slow cooker, recipes featured on this site can be cooked in a range of slow cooker sizes. Recipes can be increased or decreased by one quart size per the cooking instructions. For smaller sauces and dips that call for 3 quarts or less, it is not recommended to alter the unit size. Crock-Pot® is a registered trademark and should not be used generically when referring to a 'slow cooker' within the recipes.
Sunbeam Products, Inc. d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions has not tested these recipes and is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe. You may not achieve the results desired due to variations in ingredients, cooking temperatures, cooking times, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. Please always use your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken or fish.


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