Spaghetti Sundays

My family grew up eating spaghetti every Sunday. Really, every Sunday. When I was a kid, it was just a fun part of life, something that we did together every week. We all loved spaghetti, and we all loved making it. I especially loved making the sauce, putting in minuscule amounts of weird ingredients and making my family try to guess what they were.

Looking back, I see more wisdom in our tradition. Sure, we all loved it and we never complained about it. But it was also easy to make--easy enough that any of us could probably have put Sunday dinner on the table ourselves by the time we were ten. Spaghetti is cheap, and you can keep the ingredients in the pantry and buy ahead so you never run out. It's fast to make after three hours of church when everyone is hungry. It leaves more time for other appropriate Sunday activities, like quiet reading, journal writing, or teasing your little sisters.

I threw this sauce together on the Sunday before our vacation and it was amazing! I'm writing it down so I can make it again, many times. I think I have hit upon our family's signature sauce recipe.

Spicy Sausage Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound hot Italian sausage
2 onions, chopped
1 head garlic, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
6 14.5 ounce cans chopped tomatoes, with juice
2 small cans tomato paste
juice of one lemon
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
zest of one lemon

Cook sausage, onions, garlic, and peppers in 6-quart, heavy-bottomed pot. Drain if necessary. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt. Simmer until sauce comes together and thickens, about 45 minutes. Add basil and lemon zest and serve. Serves 12.

(Favorite Ingredients Friday)


  1. Hello, yes I am LDS. And although this recipe sounds good.....at this point I just buy the cheap spaghetti sauce. We like to have it on hand as a quick fix..it also helps that it is my daughters favorite meal. I never thought of having it once a week though hmmmm.... and it would help to have it on Sunday's to keep dinner prep easy.

  2. This looks delish! So do you or can you add ground beef too?

    I assume you would make a big pot and freeze some for later meals?

    BTW, your ginger cookies were a hit!

  3. Wonderful! Spagetti is one of my kiddos favorite memories-bubbling in the crockpot when you come in from church-mmmmm mmmm good! You recipe is neat!

  4. Sounds yummy! I wish my family liked spaghetti as much as I do:)

  5. that is a great tradition. Maybe I'll start it. My hubby and the girls love spaghetti. I like it too. I may just make this our new tradition for Sunday's.

  6. Sharon, I totally agree, and most of the time growing up we had cheap canned spaghetti sauce. I think I'm sick of it now, which is why I'm branching out a bit. :)

    Dianne, I'm sure you could add some ground beef. I don't because we really like the flavor of Italian sausage and we're not big enough meat eaters to add beef, too. And yes, I freeze it for later. It makes meals even easier!

  7. This recipe sounds really good (I love balsamic vinegar in almost everything). I have tomatoes starting to come out of my ears from the garden, so I am going to have to give your recipe a try. I grew up with roast on Sunday, and I usually stick to that or a roasted chicken (easy and slow cooking, most prep can be done the day before). The beauty is in the tradition, kids thrive on it.

  8. perfect! Ive been looking for a good spaghetti sauce recipe!

  9. I love that tradition! I love simple, delicious meals on Sunday. Looks like a wonderful recipe

  10. I like the idea of speghetti sunday. Did your family have other regular meals on different days that were the same?

  11. Okay, the first ingredient is hot Italian sausage - it's got to be good!

  12. This sounds real good!
    I like the idea of having the same, simple meal every Sunday. Especially as the kids get older and can pretty much prepare it themselves. I have a friend who has roast beef every Sunday but I can not afford to buy a roast every week.

  13. I grew up having Pizza Friday. It's a tradition I've carried on, whether it's ordered or homemade, we love Pizza Friday :)

  14. We usually cheat and use store bought sauce, but htat sounds very yummy. I think that's a great Sunday tradition. Ours is we try to keep it simple and then we go visit Grandparents.

  15. I love the idea of a certain food eaten every Sunday (or Monday/Tues etc). What a fun tradition to have and to continue. Our only thing close to that is OFTEN having popcorn for Sunday night supper :)

  16. Awesome. That was the first thing I learned how to cook. H

  17. We had spaghetti for dinner tonight! So easy and good. I love the cottage in your header. Have a great weekend!

  18. Somehow I missed the first ingredient and thought it was just a tomato based sauce, I was sort of thinking of adding ground beef instead. I guess the only way I'll know is to try.

    Now, I don't know you that well and I'm not sure if this is even your kind of thing, but I tagged you. Check out my latest post and join in if you like.

  19. We love spicy sausage in our spaghetti sauce! The flavor added is amazing. Plus I often find spicy italian chicken sausage on clearance/markdown for 99 cents for a 12 oz package.

    Now I'm hungry for spaghetti. We do roast chicken a lot on Sundays. Beef Roast is the other one I like. Very little prep and more time to enjoy my day.

  20. I really like the sounds of this spaghetti sauce and will have to try it soon! :)

    Thanks for participating in my Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I do appreciate it! :)