There’s nothing like a crisp fall and dewy morning to get you in the mood for cooking up some hearty meals! Since I’m part Italian, that means making sauce – spaghetti sauce, aka pizza sauce or the base for many other wonderful dishes like lasagna or chicken parmesan. Yum!! Last week was my Pizza Class, so I was getting all the ingredients ready so that my students could spin rounds of dough and top with my pizza sauce to create their own personal pizzas. I added lots of oregano to my sauce this time. Why? Because it’s been growing like a weed in my garden and yummed up my sauce even more.
When Fall rolls around, the Minnesota girl within me wants to preserve and store nature’s bounty for the winter ahead. Even though I now live in Southern California, I feel the change of the seasons and want to serve these hearty meals. In the days of old, our ancestors canned the sauce in canning jars, but now I freeze it and bury it in the bowels of my extra refrigerator/freezer for safe keeping. Although, canning in Ball jars sounds like a good idea again!
This recipe is super easy! Make this up when you are sitting around on game day and you will drive everyone crazy with all the good smells. Your family will be ready for a simple dinner of spaghetti or you can make up some meatballs for a meatball sandwich. Double Yum! I was experimenting with home made gnocchi so that’s what we ate with our freshly made sauce. TIP: The sauce is always better after it sits a day, so make it up ahead, which is why it’s perfect for the freezer. But who can resist eating it right away?!
You will be pleased on a rainy or dark night that you can just reach in and take out some of the bounty for your evening meal. Here’s the recipe for a small amount. I now use a restaurant size #10 can of crushed tomatoes and quadruple the recipe. It all fits into one big spaghetti size pot and why not – if you’re spending the time, you will be glad to have extra on hand.
Home Made Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 ½ oz. Can tomato paste
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. Sugar
- ¼ tsp Crushed fennel seeds
- ½ tsp crushed dried basil (or 1 T fresh basil)
- 1 tsp. Crushed dried oregano (or 2 Tbs fresh oregano)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch crushed dried red pepper or dash or 2 of cayenne
- 1 dash ground black pepper
- salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a 4 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and turn down heat to a simmer for a minimum of two hours or up to four hours, stirring often so nothing sticks to the bottom. You can put in plastic containers and freeze to have on hand for pizza sauce or other uses.