Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

This week I've been making homemade pasta (that's a recipe for another day...) and one of our meals was Spaghetti with meatballs (another recipe for another day) and Ragu sauce. As much as we like Ragu, I've made some sauce before that we've liked and I really wanted to make a bunch to put in the freezer so we don't have to buy it! I went to Costco and finally bought those HUGE cans of tomato sauce. They are only about $2.50 per can. (I've been waiting for an excuse to buy them because they're such a good deal!)

Here's what I came up with. It works best if you have everything chopped ahead of time so you can keep adding it to the pot and not have to stop to cook, cut, dice, chop, slice...etc. Many of the ingredients I used were already prepared because I had them in the freezer, chopped already- straight from the garden or leftover from another recipe (cooked Italian sausage). The spices are best priced if you buy them bulk from stores like Winco or Fred Meyer. I hope you love it! And be prepared--- it makes a large stock pot FULL! I didn't add a ton of meat because we will use this sauce with meatballs and I also plan to puree it and use it on pizza!

Kristin's Spaghetti Sauce
10 cups chopped carrots ( I used some carrots I had canned and almost pureed them to add more veggies to the sauce.)
3 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups chopped bell peppers (I used red and I'd add even more if I had more!)
2 cups cooked Italian Sausage
4 cups chopped yellow squash (or zucchini)
1 (#10 can) tomato sauce (these large cans are about 1 gallon and you can find them at Coscto - #10 is the can size. Do not buy 10 huge cans! LOL)
1 (#10 can) tomato paste
1 (#10 can) stewed or diced tomatoes
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 bulbs garlic, sliced (or you could press them but it's spicier when you use pressed garlic)
5 cups sliced Baby Bello mushrooms
1/2 cup sugar (or more if you're used to it super sweet)
4 T Basil
4 T Oregano
4 T parsley
2 T garlic powder
2 T sea salt
2 T Johnny's Seasoning (Or add more salt if you don't have this. We just love the flavor!)
2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp thyme
1 1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix all of these ingredients and simmer very low all day. I don't advise leaving it overnight because you need to stir it every 20 minutes or so. Tomato sauce burns if left alone and you don't want to ruin all of your hard work! Once I had all of the ingredients mixed, I divided it into 3 large pots on the stove. This was to cook it down more easily and to prevent it from burning.

Cool. Store in 4 cup amounts in freezer containers. Label with date. When you're ready to use, get it out of the freezer the morning of the day you cook or defrost it until you can plop it out of the bag/container and heat on the stove or in a microwave safe bowl.
This is a chuncy style of sauce- our favorite! If it's too chucnky for you, just puree 1/2 or all of it in a blender, depending on your preference. 

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