Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce

I make spaghetti sauce once a year - and when I make it, I go big! I made enough today for 14 dinners & my freezer is now full & ready to serve us a tasty, preservative-free, QUICK dinner on the nights where I've either forgotten to thaw any meat or am craving a baked spaghetti.... like we had tonight! You could make this as a single batch, but really, it's just as easy to double it, triple it, or, in my case times-5 it!! LOL

Here are your ingredients:

Diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, bell peppers, parsley, lots of spices & some ground beef (go 1/2 beef 1/2 ground Italian sausage for an extra delicious combo!) Generally speaking I'm not brand specific about many things, but I think Contadina is the best sauce to use in this.

Dice up your parsley, garlic, onions & bell peppers. The size you cut them is the size your chunks will be so if you don't like big pieces of onion/peppers be sure to go for a finer dice.

Next, just pour everything - except the ground beef - into the pot. Or, as Rachael Ray would say, everyone goes into the hot tub together! LOL Don't forget the spices!!

Bring that to a boil over high heat, then cover & reduce the heat to low. Simmer it for an hour, stirring once or twice. About a half hour into it you should get your beef browning.

Then when the hour is up add it to the pot. I mentioned I "times-5'd" this recipe... perhaps I should have just times-4'd it!! LOL I had to pull a little liquid out of the pot to fit all the meat! (This pic is just the first scoop!)

If you think it smelled good simmering without the meat wait 'til you get a whiff of it with the meat! Divine!

Now cover it again & let it go another 20-30 minutes.



Once it's cooled for a little while I divide it into 3-cup portions in quart-sized freezer Ziplock bags, lay them flat on a cookie sheet & stick them in the freezer overnight. Once they're frozen you can easily store them in a nice stack on any shelf of the freezer. When you want to use it, just fill the sink with some warm water, drop the sealed bag in & let it thaw for a bit before reheating.

Spaghetti Sauce

2 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 small bay leaves
1 - 1 1/2 pounds ground beef &/or ground Italian sausage

In a stock pot combine all ingredients except for the beef. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low & let simmer, covered, for an hour.

Crumble beef in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until fully cooked - no pink remaining. Drain the fat & add to the pot. Cover & simmer an additional 20-30 minutes.


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