A Classic Spaghetti Sauce From Teri Turner, Via Her Grandma

Chef Teri Turner

Meet the red sauce of your dreams.

For Teri Turner, it wasn’t her mom but her grandma who was the chef in the family. “Although my mother wasn’t crazy about cooking, she had a few signature dishes and she knew how to set a beautiful table. Everybody loves this dish that we call Grandma Pat’s Spaghetti Sauce,” she says. “It’s delicious, and 22 years after she’s been gone, it still brings me a sense of being home.”

Grandma Pat’s Spaghetti Sauce


  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 whole garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 ½ to 2 (28-ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes, blended
  • 1 to 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbps. sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley sprigs


In a large Dutch Oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, cook, stirring constantly, the onion, celery, and garlic, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ground beef and ground pork. Stir from the bottom to incorporate the onions and celery mixture into the beef and pork mixture. This technique helps to break the beef up into clumps. Once everything is combined, after about 3 minutes, raise the heat to medium high.

The beef and onion mixture will naturally release some liquid. Reduce a bit of the liquid by simmering the liquid to half its amount, about 10 minutes.

Still over medium-high heat, add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Pour the blended plum tomatoes into the pot. Add the water, sugar, salt, oregano, basil, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the fresh parsley and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and simmer for about an hour. Remove parsley sprigs prior to serving. Add more salt if needed.

Serve over your favorite pasta or feel free to double the recipe to freeze for later.

Paleo/Whole30 version: There is a certain magic to doing this recipe exactly as it is, but to make a different version that is Whole30 compatible, remove the sugar and double the tomato paste. It won’t be the same, but it will still be a very good Paleo sauce.

Reprinted with permission from Teri Turner of NoCrumbsLeft