My mom has made homemade spaghetti sauce since I was a kid, and it's always amazing. Every time it is different, but every time it's delicious. I am posting the basics she usually uses and then a couple of things I added this time. You'll want to start this early in the morning so it has time to get all of the flavors to meld. Follow the basic rules and it will come out good no matter what veggies you use. Be prepared, this recipe makes a giant vat of sauce, so you'll probably end up freezing a lot of it. But it will be worth it!
2 lbs mild Italian sausage
2 large cans tomato sauce (NOT marinara sauce or pre-made spaghetti sauce. It's just pureed tomatoes. You'll find it near the tomato paste.)
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 a yellow onion and 1/2 a red onion, or one whole yellow onion, diced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
oregano, basil, thyme and marjoram
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
Optional: diced zucchini, diced eggplant, sliced bell pepper, diced tomatoes (for extra texture)
Brown off your sausage, and crumble. Place this in a large stock pot over medium low heat, and pour tomato sauce over the sausage. Put a little olive oil in a skillet and saute your onions and garlic til tender, and then add your mushrooms and cook til tender. At this point you can add your diced zucchini and eggplant and peppers, and whatever else you want. Add your tomato paste and stir til everything is coated, and then add this mixture to your tomato sauce and sausage. Stir all of this together til it smooths out and is combined. Add your balsamic vinegar and stir again. Cook for about 4 to 6 hours over low heat, stirring about once every half hour. You can also do this in your crockpot (that's what I did today), but make sure either way you dont cook it above a simmer. About half an hour before serving, add your spices and seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle over spaghetti or other noodles, and serve.
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