Great Canadian spaghetti sauce

Prep 12 min
Plus Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 10 cups (2.5 L)



250-g pkg
sliced bacon, about 8 slices
2 227-g pkgs
sliced button or cremini mushrooms, or a mix
355-mL can
sweet bell peppers, preferably different colours
2 796-mL cans
plum tomatoes
156-mL can
2 tbsp
maple syrup, or brown sugar
garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp
dried basil
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
ground black pepper


  • Slice bacon into thin strips, then place in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Stir occasionally until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop onions.
  • When bacon is crispy, add mushrooms. Stir often until they start to soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Then stir in onions. Pour in beer. Scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Increase heat to high. Boil, stirring occasionally, to develop flavour, 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop peppers and carrots. Stir tomatoes into beer mixture. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, gently crush tomatoes. Then stir in peppers, carrots, tomato paste, maple syrup, garlic, seasonings and bay leaves.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered and stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Toss with cooked spaghetti. Sauce will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat sauce in microwave. Or place frozen sauce in a saucepan with a little water. Heat over medium, stirring often.

Our test kitchen assistant, Victoria Walsh, loves this specialty of her dad, David Williams. Unlike most pasta sauces, it’s loaded with chunky veggies and a rich combo of Canadian classics: bacon, maple syrup and beer. Yum, eh?


Calories 183
Protein 5.8 g
Carbohydrates 22.5 g
Fat 8.8 g
Fibre 4.2 g
Sodium 491 mg

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