Ciarochi Family Pasta Sauce Recipe

Ciarochi Family Pasta Sauce Recipe

Kristen, aka KC or Princess Buttercup's, family is originally from Sicily.  She was kind enough to share her family's delicious pasta sauce recipe with us!  Can't wait to make this and dream of being back in Italy!

Serves about 10 hungry people when poured over 2lbs+ of pasta
Prep Time – about 15-20 mins
Cook Time: 2.5 – 3 hours


1 12 oz can of tomato paste (any brand)
1 28 oz can of tomato puree (any brand) – keep the can to measure water below
2 cloves of garlic, halved lengthwise
1 heaping Tbsp dried oregano (any brand will work – I use Penzeys Turkish Oregano)
1 heaping Tbsp dried basil (any brand will work – I use Penzeys California Sweet Basil)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ puree cans of water
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

1 (or 2) package(s) Sweet Italian Sausage (sausages not ground – I usually Johnsonville or the store brand – you could also sub Hot or Mild Italian Sausage)


Step 1 - If including the sausages – preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Grease a 9” pie pan or small oven-friendly dish of your choice that will fit the sausages. If not including the sausages, skip to step 2.

Step 2 – (While oven is preheating) In a large stockpot/soup pot, combine all the other ingredients.  Ideally you want a tall/deep pot, because as we let the sauce simmer for a long time (about 2.5 hours), it does sploosh all over the counter/oven etc. if your pot is too shallow.  Set the heat to medium and give the ingredients a stir.

Step 3 – If doing the sausages, place them in the greased pan and place in oven.  Set timer for 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Keep an eye on the sauce – after about 15-20 minutes it will reach a boil.  Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to low so the sauce can just simmer.  Stir the sauce.  Continue to stir/check the sauce about every 20-30 minutes from this point.

Step 5 – If doing the sausages, and the timer goes off, take sausages out and turn them over in the pan and put them back in the oven.  Set another timer for 30 minutes.

Step 6 – If including the sausages, and the second timer goes off, take sausages out of the oven and turn oven off.  Place paper towels on a dinner plate and move sausages to the paper towels.  Cut sausages in half width-wise (at an angle if you’re fancy like me!).  Using some extra paper towels, blot/squeeze as much grease from the sausages as possible (you don’t want your sauce to be oily/runny from this grease).  Add sausages to the sauce and stir.

Step 7 – Continue to stir/check the sauce.  If you like richer/darker sauce, allow to simmer longer.  If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little bit of water at a time and stir until it is the desired consistency.

Note – this sauce freezes beautifully – just allow it to cool fully before putting in freezer.