Let me just throw this out there – spaghetti sauce is so easy to make from scratch that I can almost promise you that if you make it just once, you’ll never eat sauce from a jar or seasoned with one of those little weird pre-packaged spiced packets. This sauce can be made super quick and be ready to eat in about 30 minutes, or you can do what I do and start a batch in your crock pot and let it simmer and get WONDERFUL all day long.
Here’s how I do it in the crock….
- 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
- 1 pkg Italian sausage links (I like the ‘hot’ variety, it adds a little spice – but you could use the ‘mild’ type if you’d like – I just don’t recommend using the ‘sweet’ kind….it makes the sauce taste a little strange – hints from experience y’all)
- 2 large cans tomato sauce
- 2 large cans petite diced tomatoes
- 1 regular can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 large yellow/white onion, diced super fine
- 5 to 6 tbsp oregano
- 5 to 6 tbsp sweet basil
- 5 to 6 tbsp garlic powder
- 4 to 5 whole bay leaves
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, diced super fine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil to coat the bottom of a small frying pan
Brown and drain the grease from your hamburger and set aside. In a pot of water, bring the sausages just to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow them to simmer for 20 minutes. Once they are cooled enough to handle, remove the casing and slice the sausage into round slices (this is my preference, you could also use the ground Italian sausage and cook it like the ground beef), and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a small pan in olive oil and bring to a medium high heat. Add onions and saute until they are just tender and beginning to turn translucent. Add the garlic all at once and cook until it just softens (be careful! garlic will burn in an INSTANT if you turn your back – and you have to start over). Once both are softened up pour the contents of your pan, oil included, into your crock pot. Add your two meats, then add all of your tomato product.
Add the spices. I realize that this looks like a LOT of spices, but you are flavoring a LOT of tomato sauce. The measurements will be different for everyone, what you see above is approximately what I put in mine. Adjust the amounts to what you like. Stir this to mix well and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours in the crock pot. After about an hour or so taste your sauce to see if any adjustments need to be made to your seasoning. Remember, dried herbs take a while in a hot liquid to put off their full flavor, so tasting it right away won’t give you a sense of what you may need to add.
This is a highly customizable sauce. Hate oregano? Leave it out and make a sweet basil sauce. Vegetarian? Leave the meat out all together, add mushrooms and this makes a very tasty meatless red sauce. I will make a whole crock pot full of sauce and freeze the leftovers in small baggies to pull out for dinners later. I use it for my lasagna, baked ziti, chicken parmesan It’s a very versatile basic sauce.