Favourite Recipes: Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce

This is a great recipe for disguising veggies from children! Tanya Bartolini says, “I process the vegetables until they are so fine, my son won’t notice them – but he gets their goodness anyway”.

Tanya also recommends adding a teaspoon of fennel seeds and/or a pinch of chilli, which “will boost the flavour of the sauce. If cooking for kids, I recommend adding a little fennel (but only if the sausages don’t already have the herb in them) but no chilli”.

This recipe provides enough sauce for a 250g packet of dried pasta or 5 serves of homemade pasta.


Serves 5

  • 6 Italian sausages
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 x 400 g tins diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup white wine (not sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Special cooking utensil – food processor (if you do not have a food processor, a grater will work just fine)


1. Using a small knife, remove casings from the sausages and set aside.

2. Peel the garlic and onion. Chop celery, carrot and onion into pieces, small enough to fit into your food processor. Whiz them in the food processor for about 30 seconds until you have fine pulp.  

3. Fry up the pulped vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally as the mixture cooks through.

4. Whilst the vegetable mixture is cooking, use the food processor to blitz the sausage meat until it clumps together in a ball. Add to the frying pan and cook with the vegetables for about 5 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to low and add the wine. Cook for about 1 minute. 

6. Add tinned tomato and tomato paste. Cook through for another 5 minutes. 

7. Whilst the sauce is simmering, put your pot of pasta water on to boil. Allow the sauce to simmer for as long as it takes to cook the pasta (about 20 minutes). Any type of pasta works well with this sauce.

About Tanya Bartolini: Although Tanya Bartolini spent 14 years in accounting and finance, true satisfaction was always found in the kitchen. It wasn’t until the birth of her first son in 2012 that she realised what had seemed important before was no longer a priority and with that, Tanya decided to embrace her passion for food and family. In doing this, she has explored her family’s rich Italian history and written a book that shares her family’s precious recipes. Through her book, Blending The Cultures, featuring hearty recipes that blend the Italian and Australian way of living and eating, she hopes to encourage others to create memorable moments for themselves by cooking and sharing meals together. Tanya has also established a website – The Kitchen Bench – as a forum for everyday cooks just like herself to share wholesome, simple and healthy cooking.

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