Sunday, September 27, 2009

Doctoring Store Bought Pasta Sauce = No Wasted Veggies

I've always wanted to try to make a homemade spaghetti sauce, but for some reason, it intimidates me. Currently, I use either jarred sauce or canned. I usually add more spices or veggies to the store bought stuff. You know, to try to make it a bit more "homemade".

If making meat sauce, I brown the ground beef with some onion and peppers.After draining the grease, I pour in the jar or can of sauce, add some garlic, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning and then let simmer, covered, for about an hour.

The last time I made sauce, I had a lot of vegetables to save from being wasted. I skipped the meat this time and just made a big batch of my doctored up sauce with a couple of extra additions this time.

I diced peppers, onions, celery, carrots and zucchini and sauteed them in some olive oil with about a tablespoon of garlic. I had a lot of vegetables, so when they were starting to get tender, I transfered them to my large, oval crock pot. I added 4 large cans of sauce, some diced tomatoes, some of the spices I normally add to my sauce. (I don't really measure anything, I just add stuff until it looks "right".) I let that cook for about 6 hours on low.

The whole combination filled my crock pot almost to the top! I used some of the sauce that night with meatballs and pasta and I froze 4 containers full for future use. About 4 cups each!

I can thaw it and use it as it is, for a veggie sauce. Or I can add some of my pre-cooked hamburger base to it for a nice, hearty, meat sauce.

Once this is used up, I will work on making a homemade sauce. I told my husband not to buy jarred or canned sauce anymore, unless the sale is too good to pass up! Normally, we pay $1-$2 per jar. But now, unless it's under a buck, we'll pass. I really want to make homemade. I'll keep y'all posted when/if that happens!

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