Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce {Recipe}

Homemade {almost} everything tastes better than the prepared, packaged stuff that comes from the store...  I say almost, because there is just something about a box mix of brownies that you can't beat.  I've tried a couple of recipes that are pretty darn good though.  Spaghetti Sauce is one of those things for me that I'd rather Not eat if it's not made from scratch, either that or I doctor it up so much that you can't tell it's from a jar anyway.

I grew up on homemade spaghetti sauce.  My mom canned tomatoes every fall, so when it was spaghetti night, you trudged down to the cellar and got a jar of tomato juice, a jar of crushed tomatoes, and a jar of whole tomatoes.  Then you dumped it all in a pan, and let it cook for hours on low.  After the tomatoes cooked down you added your spices, a touch of sugar and continued to let it cook on low.  If your sauce was still runny, then you added a can of tomato paste, and you had homemade, delish spaghetti sauce, that really didn't take much effort!  (You could always use a crockpot to make this with too!)

A small disclosure before I begin.  I am not a measurer.  I'm a dumper.  My spaghetti sauce never tastes the same way twice.  It's still good every time though.  And I know what I put it in, or more so what I didn't put in it!  

There are a few ways to get a homemade spaghetti sauce.

Option 1: The Cheater Head
I call this the cheater head way, because it actually contains store bought spaghetti sauce.  I get mine from Aldi, it has the least amount of additives I have found in spaghetti sauce.

Brown hamburger in a skillet with some diced onions and garlic.  When Hamburger is done, drain any grease and return back to stove. 

Add in:
1 zucchini, sliced & quartered or halved
1-2 packagages FRESH mushroom, sliced
1/2 a jar of store bought spaghetti sauce,
1 - 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1
1 can of rotel, and
1 can of tomato sauce (sometimes!). 
MORE Garlic,
Italian seasoning,
Salt & Pepper to taste.
1 cup Parmesan Cheese (optional, but SO yummy!)

Cook until mushrooms and zucchini are cooked to your liking!

Option 2: The "canned" sauce
For when it's not tomato season, or for those that don't garden!

1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can rotel

Dump all that juicy goodness into a sauce pan, and let it cook down on medium-low for 45-60 minutes or so.  If you want a thicker sauce & have the time, you can cook it down for longer!

Add in your spices!  It's better to start off with a little (like a teaspoon) and increase it as you go!  You can NEVER go wrong with garlic though, in my opinion!  I add in 2-3 Tablespoons of sugar.  I just like the flavor that it gives.  You'll also need salt.  Taste as you go!

Let it cook with the spices for another 20 minutes or so.

In a skillet, melt 1-2 T of Butter, toss in some onion and some garlic and saut√© for 2-3 minutes.  Add in Hamburger.  I season my meat with salt, pepper, and different spices depending on my mood.  When the meat is done, I drain it, and add it to my tomato sauce. 

Then add in:
Fresh mushrooms, sliced
Zucchini, sliced & quartered or halved
Whatever other veggies you want to add!

Cook until veggies are soft and cooked to your liking!

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  This post was not planned!  My spaghetti sauce recipe was requested on FB, so I decided to make a post out of it!)

If your sauce is runny, then add a can of Tomato Paste. 

If you want, before you serve it, mix in around 1 cup of parmesan cheese.  It's delicious!  I highly recommend it if you aren't following a strict paleo/no dairy diet!

Option 3: Straight from the Garden

One of the reasons I LOVE summer time, and LOVE growing tomatoes is for the fresh tomato sauce.  It is DIVINE! 

The easiest way to get the skins off tomatoes is to bring a pot of water to a boil, and then drop in your fresh tomatoes until the skins start to split.  Then transfer them to a sink of COLD water to stop the cooking process.  The skins will peel right off! 

Put your skinned tomatoes into a large pan and cook on Low for several hours.  You're basically cooking the tomatoes down.  You will need quite a few tomatoes to get a good batch of sauce.  If  I don't have enough fresh tomatoes, I'll add in either some diced tomatoes or some tomato sauce later on.  I always like to add in a can of rotel to my sauce because I like the flavor it gives!

Once the tomatoes have cooked down to more of a "crushed tomato" consistency, you'll want to add in your salt, pepper, spices and a touch of sugar (just trust me on the sugar).  From here you just follow the directions in #2!  

There is no one size fits all for my spaghetti sauce.  I just throw stuff in a pot until it tastes good!  If I'm feeling spicy, I add in cayenne pepper!  I LOVE spicy spaghetti sauce!  I feel like spaghetti sauce is something that is super easy to make yourself!  If you don't have the extra time to prepare spaghetti sauce, you can always throw all the ingredients in a crock pot, except for the hamburger, and let it cook on low until you get home from work!  When you get home, transfer it over to a sauce pan, cook your hamburger, and you'll probably need to add in a can of tomato paste to thicken it up!  I choose to add in the hamburger later when I use a crock pot because I've found that if I cook it with the sauce then it gets a canned meat taste to it, and I don't prefer that!

Extra spaghetti sauce freezes REALLY well, so if you have lots of extra like I usually do then you can freeze it for a later meal!

If any of this is confusing, especially since it's not really a recipe, feel free to ask me questions!


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1 comment:

  1. A chef after my own heart! (Actually, I get the impression you're more talented in the kitchen than I am, but besides that...) I am no measurer either. My fried chicken batter, my casseroles and fried rice and chili and....just about anything, never taste exactly the same. But there's the adventure, right?
    And there IS something about box brownies, I don't know what, but to me, I'll make everything else homemade, but if I make brownies, it's gotta be a box.


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