Easy “Fancified” Spaghetti Sauce

This is an adaptation of a recipe from my friends Jack and Julia. I would post pictures, but it just looks like….well, spaghetti sauce. At any rate, this is to accompany the Easy Cheesy Italian Bread that I posted a few days ago.  Please note that all the ingredients are optional (except the sauce) — the other day, since I was out of onion and white wine, I just used basil. But it’s tastiest with all the ingredients.

Prep Time: 10-15 min.
Cook Time: 10-15 min. to a couple hours, depending on how much time you have.


  • 1/2 lb. (or more) cooked hamburger and/or Italian sausage
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped onion
  • Clove or two of garlic, pressed or minced
  • White wine
  • Jar of spaghetti sauce (plain is fine, but you can use a Six-Cheese one and it’s great)
  • Some basil leaves (if you feel ambitious and want to try growing your own, it’s cheap and easy to keep alive)
  • Parmesan cheese (the real stuff is best, but I’ll forgive you if you have the little green jar)


Heat olive oil in pan, over medium heat.  Add chopped onion and garlic; cook for about two minutes.  Add a bit of white wine (maybe 1/2 – 3/4 cup) and let it evaporate a bit.  Add your hamburger and mix it up.  Add spaghetti sauce; once it’s hot, turn down to low.  You can let it simmer on low, stirring occasionally, for a long time — or, if you’re in a hurry like I am, you can proceed to the next step.  Add chopped basil and stir.  Serve with Parmesan cheese over spaghetti.

Cooking tip:  Add a little oil to your spaghetti noodles while they’re cooking — it helps keep it from sticking together.

About Charity

I have an inexcusable number of cookbooks (and like to experiment with them), have worked in architectural antiques, and have been sewing most of my life. I recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising, & Design from Iowa State University. Doing household things (except for cleaning!) and hunting for antiques are my favorite pastimes.
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1 Response to Easy “Fancified” Spaghetti Sauce

  1. laurengracie says:

    Aww! It’s like the cake mix doctor but with spaghetti sauce! It occurs to me that you should invent a cookbook of random quick fixes and things to add to jars/boxes. Maybe you could even redeem hamburger helper one day (not holding my breath).

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