Casa Rugantino Spaghetti Sauce

Real, homemade spaghetti  sauce from Casa Rugantino, a classic Italian restaurant.  A Kitchener tradition!When I first started going it was a small 10 table restaurant with posters of ‘home’ adorning the walls.  Mamma was in the kitchen and her two daughters worked the front of the house.

I usually had a dilemma because after I tried several dishes I could never decide.  Their Eggplant Parmigiana was the first that I had tried and that became my lunch staple.

The  Chicken Rusticana was to die for as well.  My husband hands down ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs every time.

Anyone who worked at Mutual Life/Clarica/Sun Life will remember those dishes as well as the $5 panzerotti very well!

Imagine my delight when a girlfriend said one day she had the recipe from the restaurant!  Many years ago she had asked for it and they gave her a typed out copy!

Now the restaurant has expanded and gone upscale but the food is still just as good.  For anyone in the Kitchener Waterloo area you can check it out here

If you are not in the vicinity you can get it on the action anyway with their Spaghetti Sauce recipe below!

A pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on a stove

It only takes about 15 minutes to put this together but it needs to simmer for an hour.  Believe me… it is worth it!

It also freezes well so you can make a big batch to have on hand.

If you want meatballs check out these from ‘The Best Ever Spaghetti & Meatballs’!   No kidding….

Wine Pairing

You have to go Italian to honor this dish!

A Ripasso would be nice and rich and fruity with this.

Or how about a Chianti?

Or a Nobile di Montepulciano, another Sangiovese based blend.

Buon Appetito!

A bowl of spaghetti with 3 meatballs on top

Casa Rugatino Spaghetti Sauce

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine
  • 2 28 oz cans ground tomatoes (I use crushed or passata)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  • Brown the hamburger in the olive oil in a dutch oven. When brown drain the meat.
  • Transfer the meat to a dish and reserve. Fry the onion in the dutch oven until golden. Add the meat back in and add the wine and cook over medium heat until the wine evaporates.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour.



Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 689mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g

Casa Rugantino Spaghetti Sauce

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