3 Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipes You Need to Know

I’m not sure there is anything more nostalgic for me than making and eating pasta. It is literally at every single family gathering I’ve ever had since I was born. Today, I’m going to show you how to make 3 Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipes that are near and dear to my heart: Red Sauce, Pesto & Aglio e Olio.

My Italian side is guaranteed to eat these five things at every get together: fried chicken, cheesy potatoes, salad, ham and pasta. I never even noticed that we have these 5 dishes at every meal until about a year ago when I was at my cousin’s wedding. It is always delicious and it really brings home some wonderful memories of my childhood.

While I’ve got quite a long list of pasta sauces is my recipe repertoire, I have 3 that are my go-to recipes for meal planning or serving up to a large crowd. The three pasta sauces are a Red Meat Sauce, Pesto, and Aglio e Olio. All of them are incredibly easy to make and always delicious. I have to admit as well, you’re getting an age old recipe here with this red-meat sauce. It’s hard for me to be giving out my secret sauce, and while there’s nothing secret about it, it’s dear to me. Well, here you go…

Making red pasta sauce is actually pretty easy. It consists of onions, garlic, peppers, meat and tomatoes. To make it really good, you need to pay attention to the details, like caramelizing the onions before you add in the garlic and peppers, or deglazing the vegetables with red wine and cooking it to au sec (reducing until almost dry) before adding in the meat. Don’t get me wrong, none of the techniques are hard, just important to the taste of the recipe. It’s also important to let the sauce cook and remember that sauce is always better then next time because it gives it more time for the flavors to come out.

Pesto is an age-old favorite and thanks to the food processor, this pesto recipe couldn’t be any easier. Pesto is seriously only 6 ingredients, basil, lemon, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Throw all of those ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you’ve got a slightly runny, finely minced sauce, a.k.a. pesto. Once you’ve perfected the sauce, try one (or all!) of these amazing recipes: Pesto Linguine with Shrimp Scampi, Pesto Flatbread with a Homegrown Microgreens Salad and Roasted Chicken & Pesto Mac ‘n Cheese!

Aglio e Olio has been around forever but since we call it by its Italian name these days it’s a huge trend in the food world. All Aglio e Olio is is garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese and a touch of white wine. Back in the day we used to call this, “garlic pasta,” but slap “glio e Olio” on it as the title and you can’t stop selling it. Go figure…

Thanks for allowing me to share these three homemade pasta recipes with you and I hope they are helpful to when meal planning or wanting to whip up some classics in your kitchen for your friends and family. Happy sauce making!

3 Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipes

Servings 1


For the Red Meat Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 peeled and small diced yellow onion
  • 10 finely minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 seeded and small diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup of cabernet sauvignon
  • 1 pound loose Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 each 28-ounce cans of crushed and whole peeled tomatoes, squeezed with hands
  • 2 tablespoons of dry basil
  • 1 tablespoon of dry oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Pesto:

  • 1 cup of packed fresh basil leaves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of pine nuts
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Aglio e Olio:

  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil + 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup of finely minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup of chardonnay
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Finely minced parsley for garnish


For the Red Pasta Sauce:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat add in the olive oil and caramelize the onions until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Next, add in the garlic and peppers and saute for 6 to 8 minutes. Deglaze with wine and cook until it’s almost gone.
  3. Add in the sausage and beef and cook until there is no more pink in them.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and herbs and stew over low heat for 1 hour.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve over cooked pasta.

For the Pesto:

  1. Add the basil, lemon juice, pine nuts and cheese to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and pulse until combined. Should be slightly loose.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and serve over cooked pasta.

For the Aglio e Olio:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium size saute pan over medium heat and cook garlic until done, about 3 to 4 minutes. Note: it should no longer have a bite to it.
  2. Deglaze with wine and cook until it’s almost gone.
  3. Next, stir in ½ cup of olive oil.
  4. Garnish with parsley and season with salt and pepper and serve over cooked pasta.
Keyword Dinner, Pasta