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Thursday, January 7, 2010

The easiest spaghetti sauce...

Spaghetti sauce is a pantry staple, isn't it? I mean, first, there is spaghetti, then the pan of lasagna, oh and pizza! As you know by now, I make most things we consume from scratch, because I love to, but also because I think things that are mass-manufactured the least, are best.It could quite possibly be the easiest sauce there is.

We eat spaghetti a good once a week around here. We also happen to call it Red sauce in our house. Maybe spaghetti has too many syllables...not sure. This version makes a good amount and is a cost savings over buying jars of the store made sauces.

My mother made a version of my Sicilian grandmothers, and I now make a version of my mother's. Mom cooked hers on the stove all day–she still does. I use the crockpot. Both methods impart that unbelievable rich and savory smell throughout the house when you walk in. I think that is all part of it.
I use canned tomatoes, but I buy organic, minimally processed with no major additives. If you are thinking ‘organic=pricey’…my store’s house brand is only about $1.69 for the 28-ounce cans, so pretty affordable.

Try finding house brand organics to use at your grocery. Make sure there are no additives, just tomatoes, no salt, or no sugars. Citric acid shows up on most as a natural color preservative and is ok.
This batch makes the equivalent of about 3 jars of the store bought sized spaghetti jars. Reuse your glass spaghetti jars from your last purchase, or use the large glass canning jars.

Red Sauce
Two  28-oz cans organic tomato puree (unsalted and unseasoned)
Two 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes (unsalted and unseasoned)
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 palm full (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) dried Italian seasoning, or dried oregano
4 Italian sausages, raw in the casings*

*A note on the sausages. I buy mine at the meat counter. Use mild, sweet, or hot, use pork or chicken. I use chicken mostly, it's healthier.  Use what you like.

Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Submerge the sausages. Place lid on top and cook on high for 6 hours, low for 8 hours.
I buy my sausages on sale and throw them in the freezer. I then add them frozen and they cook through by the end. You can also add them thawed.
When its done, stir and place in the large sized glass jars that are clean and dry.
Or have a plate of pasta and jar the rest!
If you have a canning funnel, pack it hot, right into the jars.
This sauce keeps well, so don't be afraid to use it over the month.

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