Sep 5, 2011

Hearty Spaghetti Sauce


If you're still eating spaghetti sauce from a jar, you MUST try making your own. It is SO much yummier and healthier than Ragu or Prego. The thing I like the best about it is how versatile it is. You can make it hearty and chunky, smooth, creamy, sweet, cheesy, spicy, or simple. I prefer hearty and spicy, so that's how we're cooking tonight. Even with this variation, there variables you can vary. Very much. And if you don't have some of the ingredients, try something else! Just don't get too creative. We are making spaghetti sauce, not spaghetti surprise.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T olive oil
1 large onion
3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 bell pepper(I prefer red)
1 lb spicy italian sausage links*
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce plus 1 heaping tablespoon Italian seasoning
-OR-
1 jar of your favorite Ragu or Prego pasta sauce

noodles


DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large skillet with 2T olive oil over medium-high heat. Chop onions and saute until almost translucent. Press or mince garlic and add to onions for 2-3 minutes. Slice zucchini, squash, and bell peppers and add to skillet. Saute 5 minutes more. Remove from skillet.
2. Add sausage links to skillet and cook through, turning every 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and slice.

3. Place vegetable mix, sliced sausage, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning (or pasta sauce) in large crock pot on low heat 5-6 hours. 30 minutes before serving, cook noodles according to package directions. Serve sauce over warm noodles.


* You can substitute with so many other kinds of meat - or even no meat at all. Some choices are: ground beef, ground turkey, meatballs, steak - cut into bite-size pieces, or you can take the sausage out of its casing and cook it like ground meat. My kids prefer the meatballs:






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