R&R 8-hour Sauce (Stir-it-Sauce)


Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp. butter

  • 1 cup celery, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 each orange and yellow pepper, chopped

  • 3 cans (28 oz.) of petite diced tomatoes

  • 8 oz. package of portabella mushrooms, chopped

  • 1/3 cup black olives, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pepper


To Serve the Sauce

  • 1 lb. heavy noodle such as rigatoni or penne

  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan/Reggiano or pecorino parmesan

  • Cilantro or parsley and goat cheese for garnish


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add celery, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft.

  2. Add the peppers and cook another 5 minutes.

  3. Add the 3 cans of diced tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives, all herbs, and seasonings. Bring to a low boil.

  4. Cook on low for 6 hours. Stirring every half hour. Yes, that’s right! Every half hour.

  5. When the sauce is almost done, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook a heavy noodle like Rigatoni or Penne until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

  6. Return the noodles to the pot and add ½ cup parmesan cheese. Add in the hot pasta water slowly about ¼ cup at a time and then stir it up. Do this until you have the perfect cheesy noodle consistency.

  7. Serve with the 8-hour sauce and garnish with cilantro or parsley, and goat cheese. Pictured here is some of my caprese salad, toast bites, and sliced sausage. So delicious!!!

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I am so excited to share this recipe with you. This sauce is a super special recipe and belongs to 2 very special people. Ray and Rhonda (R&R) are two great friends of mine that I've known for years.


I grew up and went to grade school with Rhonda's daughter Chelsea in Dewitt, and connected with this couple one night 8 years ago while I was in college finishing my degree and working at a steakhouse as a bartender. This amazing couple sat at my table and we bonded over knowing Chelsea and growing up in Dewitt. I mentioned my hospitality business degree and interest in working as a meeting planner upon graduation. Rhonda mentioned her friend that was currently looking for this exact position at Rhonda's former place of employment, and connected me to her and I was offered a job not much longer after that. Rhonda helped me land my first job! This person that barely knew me at all must have seen something special in me to put such trust to give a recommendation for this opportunity and I will forever be grateful! We kept in touch through the years through lunch dates, dinner and drinks with other fellow colleagues in the industry, but most importantly through our cooking dates.


Ray & Rhonda recently had their kitchen remolded and let me tell you that it is a dream kitchen for anyone! All updated appliances, countertop space for days and just a large accommodating space. Rhonda started having me over for cooking days as it is a passion we both enjoy, and if you know anything about my kitchen, it is TINY compared to the workspace we have at Rhonda's. Back in April of this year, she told me that we should create Ray's 8-hour sauce and make it available on the website. I was shocked because I knew Ray was very particular about his famous stir-it-sauce recipe and to be sharing it with me, let alone others was a big deal. So we got together and she shared the steps to the best pasta sauce I've ever had.


You may have noticed that the cooking time is only 6 hours, but we call it 8-hour sauce to accommodate the time needed to prep all the ingredients. This is definitely a dish that you have to be present all day for though. It's great for a Sunday afternoon while chores are being done throughout the day, but you have to make sure to stir it every half hour. The cooking time allows all of those delicious flavors to break down and come together over lower heat and a long period of time. You are going to love it. Rhonda and I served it up with the cheesy pasta garnished with cilantro and goat cheese, as well as a caprese salad, sliced sausage and some toast bites. It was such a treat for my taste buds. However, I have also made this sauce into a lasagna dish before and it was out of this world delicious! Serve it up any way you'd like but just make sure you do try it! It's totally worth the time and effort. Thank you Ray and Rhonda for sharing your special sauce with my followers and subscribers. I appreciate it and you both so much!

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