top of page
  • Writer's pictureOlivia Dear Thames

Olivia's Spaghetti Sauce

This may just be something to put on top of noodles to you, but to me, it is a sign of progress. In 2019, I could barely work an oven. In 2021, I added a special ingredient to an existing recipe to make it my own and ended up with Olivia's Spaghetti Sauce.

The original recipe came from Budget Bytes. It looked simple enough, but I was intrigued by the thought of adding something to it: red wine. Ina Garten adds red wine to many of her pasta sauces, and since I once dressed up as her for Halloween, it just seemed like a no-brainer. And, bonus: there is leftover wine to drink!

*Important note: I usually double the recipe. If you choose to do that, Godspeed with converting your measurements. I would try to do that for you, but trust me, you are better off on your own.

This recipe freezes beautifully, smells fabulous, and tastes even better. I'm having it tonight! Cheers!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I do two tablespoons of pre-minced garlic because I love garlic and I am lazy)

  • 1/2 pound of ground beef

  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or fresh!)

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon sugar (yes, I know it's crazy, but do it)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more)

  • 1 cup (or however much you feel like adding) of Chianti wine


In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, 3–5 minutes. Add the ground beef. Cook until it's thoroughly browned.

Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to loosen bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, and salt and stir. Then, add the wine, and obviously, pour yourself a glass too. Continue to cook until heated through—and if you feel like it, put it on low for a little while after to get it juuuuust right! Best served over rigatoni with fresh parmesan on top. Trust me, the fresh parmesan is a game-changer.


Ina Garten oops I mean Olivia Thames



bottom of page