Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe
Homemade spaghetti sauce is really the only way to go if you want flavor, freshness and frugality. It’s so incredibly easy and makes a world of difference compared to the store-bought-jarred-or-canned-stuff. I whipped up a batch of this homemade spaghetti sauce last night and I think it’s one of my best batches yet.
This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe could be made in the slow cooker, but you’ll still want to cook up the garlic, onions and beef before you toss it into the slow cooker. I used a Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-Quart Oval French Oven, Cherry (Amazon) - but any large pan will do.
Olive oil – 2 Tablespoons
Ground beef or turkey – about 2 pounds
I am an Alaskan girl, so I used moose meat
1 large onion – diced finely
Garlic cloves - 5 cloves, peeled and minced
Tomato sauce – 3 cans, 15 oz each
Diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano – 3 cans, 15 oz each
Tomato paste - 1 can, 12 oz
Brown sugar - 2 Tablespoons
Dried Oregano (or Italian seasoning mix) – 1 heaping Tablespoon
Dried Sweet Basil - 1 heaping Tablespoon
Bay leaves - two whole leaves (remove when done cooking)
Optional: Sliced fresh mushrooms (probably 12 – 16 oz), diced fresh red or yellow peppers, parmesan cheese
HOW TO PREPARE
1.) In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, add your olive oil. After it’s hot, toss in your diced onions and minced garlic. Cook until softened and slightly browned. Be careful, the garlic can burn if you’re not careful.
2.) Once your onions are cooked, toss in your ground beef (or turkey). Cook until it’s no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. (If the pan is hard to drain, use a turkey baster to remove grease.)
3.) Once your meat is no longer pink and the grease drained – toss in all the tomatoes, brown sugar and spices!
4.) Simmer on LOW for at least one hour, uncovered, on the stove top! Stir occasionally. Simmering will reduce a lot of the extra water and enrich the flavor. I simmered mine for a few hours on LOW and think it only gets better with time.
5.) Serve over pasta with a shaving of parmesan cheese
Make a big batch of this sauce and you can freeze for future meals. When we want spaghetti we take the sauce out the night before and heat up on the stove top. I like to freeze mine laying flat so that I can stack them upright in my freezer (see how I organize my freezer here).
If you are lucky enough to have FRESH tomatoes – I definitely recommend my Roasted Marinara Tomato sauce. It’s amazing and also easy. It’s great to whip up when you have a bumper crop of tomatoes in late summer!