Wednesday, January 06, 2016

homemade spaghetti sauce

So, if you've been hanging around my blog for a while you know that I love to dabble in cooking. In fact I probably already shared how I make my own spaghetti sauce but I thought I'd do it again. I am a by the recipe book kind of cook...but sometimes I branch out and  try to my own spin on things. Spaghetti sauce is one of those things that is good to experiment with. If it doesn't' taste right just add something else until it's good. Once you have a good base you can play around with the flavor! So I'm going to give you a general idea of how I do it and then it's up to you to try and make it your own!

I start with a hot pan and a good drizzle of olive oil. Then I add one chopped onion. Stir it a bit so the onion is all coated in oil and let this cook for a while before I add anything else. Then I add in some minced garlic and let it cook some more.

Next I added two peeled and chopped carrots and let that cook for a while.
I usually make my sauce in the fall when my tomato plants are producing more tomatoes than I can keep up with...however this year my tomato plants didn't do so well...luckily I had frozen a bunch of tomatoes from my abundance from the previous summer. Just cut the tomatoes in half, throw them in a freezer bag and get as much air out as possible. These tomatoes were frozen for at least 14 months and I couldn't tell the difference in my sauce. So I ran the tomatoes under some warm water in a colander to get the freezer burn ice crystals off and then I just added them to the pot.


After about five minutes they were already turning to mush!!


After I let the tomatoes, carrots, garlic and onion simmer for a couple of hours I added in some herbs and spices. I used salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme and a little nutmeg. Taste it once it's simmered for a bit and add more of whatever you'd like to make it suit your taste. I added more salt and basil once I came back to taste this sauce. I used to add a little brown sugar which helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes but since we are trying to cut out sugar I used the nutmeg instead.

After I let it simmer a little more I get out my stick blender and puree the whole thing. Then I add about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to help thicken the sauce a bit. Blend it again and let it simmer until I'm ready to add the meat.

This time I added in my cooked ground pork and just made it a meat sauce. But you obviously wouldn't have to do that. I served this meat sauce with spaghetti squash "noodles" and some roasted broccoli. A delicious dinner that my kids love. Even Abi, the pickiest, always asks for seconds of this meal! Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to use if you're wheat free or trying to stay away from grains...we go through months where we eat wheat free to reset our tummies and other systems and this is a great meal to fall back on! Plus I love using fresh veggies. You could totally use a jar of sauce, I do when I don't have tomatoes in abundance. And yes, this sauce does take a while to make but it's something you just add to, leave it alone for a while and stir once in a while when you come through the kitchen! It doesn't take a lot of work...just some time!



What do you add to your homemade spaghetti sauce? Do you have any suggestions for the leftover meat sauce?

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