Perfect Pasta Sauce

Danielle Cybulski-Herbert, Senior Traffic & Production Coordinator

When my mom would announce her mom's pasta sauce was on the menu for dinner, I would sometimes skip lunch so that I could embark on a spaghetti bender later that day. That's how delicious this sauce is. I would risk midday malnutrition, so that I could eat more pasta.

I made it my mission to learn to cook this delectable sauce on my own. Primarily because I miss it, and secondly, the original recipe calls for ground beef and ground pork, and for the past few years I have been adhering to a vegetarian diet. So, I’ve made it vegetarian! Check out my recipe for meat-free Perfect Pasta Sauce.


  • 3 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 3 tsp vegetable bouillon base
  • 3 cups water
  • 2–3 tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprinkles ground cinnamon
  • 3–4 tsp dried basil
  • 5–6 whole dried allspice
  • 2–3 tsp dried oregano
  • ¾–1 cup dried parsley
  • 3 whole dried bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 3–4 dried whole cloves
  • 3 30-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 12-oz can tomato paste


  1. Boil water. Add bouillon to dissolve. Once dissolved, pour broth into a heat-safe bowl.
  2. Put TVP in a pot over medium heat and pour broth over it, stirring lightly until the liquid is absorbed into the TVP. Transfer the rehydrated TVP to a heat-safe bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan (large enough to hold all ingredients) brown the diced onion in 2–3 tbsp of canola or olive oil. Add the minced garlic until slightly browned. Add the TVP and combine.
  4. Add tomato sauce and paste and mix thoroughly. Then add the cinnamon, basil, allspice, oregano, parsley, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and cloves.
  5. Simmer on low to medium heat for 2½–3 hours, stirring frequently. Taste to ensure flavor and simmer longer, if needed.
  6. Serve with your choice of pasta. ENJOY!