Great Canadian spaghetti sauce

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

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
2 227-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.


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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Photo credit: Photo, Erik Putz.

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