Great Canadian spaghetti sauce



12 min


10 cups (2.5 L)

* PLUS Cooking time: 40 minutes
Great Canadian spaghetti sauce

Photo, Erik Putz.

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?


  • 250-g pkg sliced bacon , about 8 slices
  • 2 onions
  • 2 227-g pkgs sliced button or cremini mushrooms , or a mix
  • 355-mL can beer
  • 2 sweet bell peppers , preferably different colours
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 796-mL cans plum tomatoes
  • 156-mL can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup , or brown sugar
  • 10 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp hot-red-chili-flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 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.

Nutrition (per serving)

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