Sinatra Spaghetti with Italian Tomato Sauce

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Frank Sinatra once said, “Everything I know about cooking, I learned from my mother.” That included his favorite spaghetti sauce– simple, and fabulously flavorful, reprinted here with permission from Mainliner magazine, which published the recipe in 1973. Mrs. “Dolly” Martin Anthony Sinatra lived in a home Frank built for her on the grounds of his Palm Springs estate, so if Frank needed any cooking tips, he had only to ask. This meatless sauce is a good match for a dinner with Sinatra’s Spicy Italian Sausage & Sweet Peppers

Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, sliced paper thin and separated into crescents
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large can (1 lb., 12 oz.) Italian-style peeled tomatoes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • l lb spaghetti
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a frying pan, put the 3 Tbsp olive oil, the onion, and the four cloves garlic. Stir frequently over medium heat, until onion is golden, but not brown. Remove garlic cloves and discard.
  2. Drain canned tomatoes, saving ¼ cup liquid. Place liquid and tomatoes in blender for four seconds only. Slowly pour pureed tomatoes into the frying pan, stirring constantly, being sure the oil isn’t too hot, or it will spatter. Add salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring sauce a few times.
  3. In the meantime, heat large pot of water to boiling. Add 2 Tbsp salt. When water comes to a full boil, add spaghetti and stir. When done, pour into colander and drain. Return noodles to pot. Add ½ stick butter. Mix well. Pour spaghetti onto heated platter, cover with sauce. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese.
  4. This meatless sauce is a good match for a dinner with Sinatra’s Spicy Italian Sausage & Sweet Peppers

6 thoughts on “Sinatra Spaghetti with Italian Tomato Sauce

  1. Sounds great but there is a typo there – “2 Tablespoons of salt” is called for twice – that is obviously way too much salt. I would suggest that only 1 tablespoon is sufficient.

  2. Pingback: Penne Pasta and Meatballs in Frank Sinatra’s Italian Tomato Sauce | The McCallum's Shamrock Patch

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