Well, I didn’t want to be snotty, but starting with a jarred sauce, especially Prego, is half of his dilemma. I would not feed Prego to my dog. There. I said it. [xx(]
Here is my Gram’s sauce recipe. We always triple it.
1 can tomato paste, and 3 of these cans of water
1 small can tomato sauce
^^It start here, triple these amounts, then throw in a stick of butter, a pinch of sugar & salt at the end to taste. Simmer together for half an hour or longer. This is the sauce that has covered countless dishes over the last 60+ years of her marriage to my grandfather. I like it because you can purchase the no-salt-added varieties & control the amount of salt in your dish.
And you know as the generations have come, we add our own variations to this sauce. My father LOVES the sauce with beef (browned chuck roast simmered in the sauce) and he LOVES hot, so he adds his own pepper mixture. I, personally, like to add crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, garlic, fresh cracked black pepper, and sometimes a bit of basil, whatever I’m in the mood for that day. As for meat, I will sometimes do meat, but it’s more likely to have mushrooms.
If you make the triple batch you can add whatever kind of meat you want. My grandmother adds baked meatballs, browned pork steaks, browned chuck roast, and her sister used to add ground beef. It’s a very versatile sauce, but she is sneaky. She gave me this recipe when I was 15 & I spent half my life wondering why mine never turned out like hers. Then a few years ago for Christmas I stayed with them for a few days helping for the big holiday & I saw her sneak butter & sugar into the sauce!!!! [:0] I said, "What are you doing?" & she told me you add it in at the very end, she must have forgotten to tell me. [:(!]
So there you have it. I have put tomatoes in my sauce a time or two, but not as a rule.