Get Ready For Spaghetti ~ The “Secret” Sauce

by DanicasDaily on October 22, 2011

Hello Blog World!  It’s me, Jay ~ “The Husband” with my not so “secret” spaghetti sauce recipe for you.  I am pretty lucky guy in that Danica is a great cook and does 95% (actually 99.9%) of the cooking in our house.  This is one of the recipes that I like to surprise her with by making on occasion to give her a break from cooking. 

It’s not really a recipe because I usually just throw things together by emptying out the fridge in my sauce.  I really like chunky, chunky spaghetti sauce so I usually bulk it up with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and whatever else I can find.  My spaghetti sauce usually starts with a jar or a can of pasta sauce.

In this recipe I used Jennie-O Turkey Sausage (a la Biggest Loser) along with lean ground beef because it’s the only kind Danica buys lol. From there, just run through all the spices and add  dashes of whatever you think sounds good in pasta sauce.  The two “secret” ingredients that make this sauce taste homemade are adding the wine and the fire roasted tomatoes.

Get Ready For Spaghetti ~ Chunky Sausage & Tomato Pasta Sauce

(print here)



  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 3 Jennie-O Lean Hot Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, siced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup good quality red wine (something you would drink)
  • 25 oz Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Pasta Sauce
  • 15 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (my wife snuck these in!)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 14.5 oz Barilla Angel Hair Pasta
  • Fresh parmesan and parsley for topping, optional


1.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add ground beef, turkey, onion, mushrooms, and garlic.  Cook until the meats are browned and cooked through.  Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.

2.  Add the Arrabiata Pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian Seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes and sugar.  Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce to medium low and allow to simmer.  Your sauce will thicken as it cooks.  Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper just before serving.

3.  As the sauce cooks, bring a large pot full of water with a splash of salt and olive oil to boil.  Add pasta and cook for 6 minutes.  Drain pasta and set aside

4.  To serve, add 1 cup of pasta then top with a heaping 1/2 cup “secret sauce”, a sprinkle of parmesan and parsley, if using.

Makes 8 servings, 1 cup pasta, 1/2 cup sauce, 1 tsp parmesan, points+ each

Nutritional information per serving



Danica is doing well in her recovery, but, I am pretty sure she will not be able to stay away from here for long.  She will be back tomorrow for our weekly menu and a new recipe or two!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat October 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Oh my! This looks soooo good. I want to make it right now, but will be making next week! Good job Jay, you will make Danica proud! Thanks :)


Leah October 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Jay, Danica is very lucky to have you as you are to have her. Continue to take good care of her!!!


jaceline wilkins October 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm

,Great job subbing for Danica tonight Jay! Sure miss seeing you on here Danica,was really nice of the husband to help out. This recipe looks fabulous,can’t wait to give it a try. Hope you recover fast and are feeling better soon. You guys are great! :O)


Lucia October 23, 2011 at 5:58 am

Jay, I am italian and I love the idea of using an Arrabiata base!!! and I would have done the same as Danica and added hot pepper flakes, although “husband” does not like really spice stuff. Great job on the sauce and you did awesome! Take care of yourself and of Danica!


TracyP October 23, 2011 at 5:59 am

I hope you are feeling better, Danica. Your husband’s sauce looks delicious. Looks like he’s taking great care of you, too.


monica October 23, 2011 at 6:12 am

You had me at wine and fire-roasted tomatoes. Looks so good. Will definitely be trying. Thanks for filling in and for spilling the goods!


Jill Maciulla October 23, 2011 at 7:25 am

Jay, your spaghetti looks awesome. You can pinch hit for Danica any time!!!
Take good care of our girl :)


Kathy October 23, 2011 at 8:12 am

The sauce looks amazing Jay, thanks for posting the recipe. Danica is lucky to have such a great guy. I loved the Farmers Market you set up for her :~)
Of course, you ‘re lucky to have her as well. The two of you make an awesome couple.


Laura O'Brien October 23, 2011 at 8:31 am

Thanks for posting. You guys are the best.


Ann October 23, 2011 at 10:38 am

Thanks, Jay. This looks delicious!!


christine y, October 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm

WOW this sauce looks delicious!! Thank you and nice job blogging Jay.

Danica you are a lucky one….beautiful and a husband who will cook.


renee@mykitchenadventures October 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

ah wine…yes, makes everything taste better! thanks for posting!


Lori Smith October 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Jay, what a great husband helping Danica out while she’s on the injured list.


MARY October 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Looks delicious! Just to confirm-one receipe says 10 servings, one says 8 servings..and is this 8ppt for 1 cup pasta and 1/2cup sauce?


DanicasDaily October 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hi Mary,

Thanks for catching that. I was trying to walk him through how to do it all and I know it’s confusing. I have updated it. It is 8 servings, 1 cup pasta and 1/2 cup sauce for 8 points each.

Sorry about the mix up,



christine y, October 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Jay, Danica,
I made the “secret sauce” more delicious than the photos!! My husband said “it’s a keeper” his favorite phrase when he loves a particular dish. The red pepper flakes give it a nice kick and I totally agree about the fire roasted tomatoes….a new staple in my cupboard. THANK YOU for sharing.


Kathy M October 24, 2011 at 11:19 am

Is there a substitute for the wine? Several of my friends are members of AA (and WW) and I’d like to make for one of our girlfriend dinners but don’t want to add the alcohol. Thanks!


DanicasDaily October 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Hi Kathy,

You could just omit the wine and leave the juice in the diced tomatoes.

Your friends are lucky to have you cook for then!



janetha October 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Great to hear from you, Jay! Marshall is the spaghetti maker at our house, too. We miss you guys! You are a great husband, give D a hug from me!


Pat October 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Danica & Jay, I made this on Wednesday. It was a hit! I have to say that I do not like turkey, but I did use the Jennie-O Lean Hot Italian turkey sausages as in the recipe and I did not even detect turkey! I wanted to make it exactly as Jay posted. This sauce was so tasty and I will be making this again! Oh and angel hair pasta is one of my favs. Thanks, again good job 😉


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