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Just Like Mama Makes

One of my favorite memories of my childhood is the smell of my mom’s homemade pasta sauce. Using my great-great grandmother’s recipe, and a few tweaks of her own, she’d spend the whole morning chopping, sautéing, and perfecting the most delicious marinara sauce you’ll ever taste. Then, she’d let it simmer on low for the rest of the day, allowing the flavors to marinate and blend together. When it was time for dinner, we’d sit down at the table together and savor one of our favorite meals. Now that I’m in graduate school and off on my own, I don’t get to enjoy my mom’s sauce as much. However, mama did teach me the tricks of the trade. While my version of her recipe isn’t quite as good as hers, it’s still unbelievably delicious. And now I’m passing it along to you…


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil spray
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (28 oz.) San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Two packets of Truvia/stevia (original recipe had sugar instead of stevia, but mom wanted to make it a tad healthier)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • several sprigs of fresh basil leaves
  • love*


  1. Spray a large sauce pan with a generous amount of olive oil spray.
  2. Saute the chopped onions and minced garlic over medium heat. Saute until onions are lightly browned.
  3. Add both cans of the San Marzano tomatoes. (MUST be San Marzano tomatoes! It’s important for the flavor of the sauce)
  4. Add the tomatoe paste. Stir well.
  5. Add the bay leaves, basil, and oregano.
  6. Cover and let cook for 1-2 hours. *Note – Keep an eye on the sauce to prevent it from burning. Stir every 20 minutes.
  7. Add packets of stevia. Stir well.
  8. Using a wooden spatula, break up the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces.
  9. Cover again and reduce heat to low. Let the sauce marinate and cook for another 2-3 hours. Be sure to come back and stir every so often.
  10. Final note: the secret ingredient to this sauce is love and positivity. I know it sounds weird, but if you make this sauce when you’re angry or in a bad mood, it won’t turn out well!
  11. By now, the sauce should be ready!


  • Pair with whole grain or gluten-free pasta noodles
  • Use it as a sauce for spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles – my favorite way (don’t forget the parmesan cheese!)
  • Sauce for a pizza
  • Eggs in Purgatory


The possibilities here are endless! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Written by GUADS staff member Angelina

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