Homemade Tomato Sauce With Sausage
|June 22, 2012||Filled under Freezer Tips, Recipes: Dressings, Sauces and Marinades||
When it comes to spaghetti sauce people often turn to store bought jars to help them make a quick, easy meal. Have you ever really looked at the ingredients in the store bought stuff? I mean really looked at it? You would probably expect to find ingredients such as tomatoes (puree and/or paste), water and spices such as garlic and onion. When I grabbed three random jars off of the grocery store shelves I found that they each had added sugar (corn syrup, dextrose or just plain sugar) along with soybean oil and the mystery “natural flavorings” which deserve a blog post of their very own.
Why not pass on the store bought stuff with all of its unnecessary ingredients and make your own homemade sauce. It’s faster and easier than you think! With a few minutes of prep work and about 15 to 20 minutes of simmering you can have a delicious sauce to serve to your family. Want to save even more time in the future? Then follow some of the freezer tips at the end and you’ll a second, third or even fourth meal on the table even quicker.
While this is a simple recipe it’s also the base for many other types of sauces. There are few ingredients and you can replace the sausage with other types of meat. See the tips at the end of the recipe and find out how you can increase the batch size and freeze the extra sauce for other meals.
Homemade Tomato Sauce With Sausage
- 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced OR 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional items used in this recipe:
- 1 pound Italian sausage with the casing removed
- 1 sweet red pepper, diced
- feta cheese
- If using sausage, start by running a sharp knife down the side of the Italian sausage to split the casing. Pull off the casing and discard it. Place all the sausage in a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat, breaking into crumbles with spoon or spatula, until no longer pink. Drain off any fat especially if your not using pastured pork.
- While the sausage is cooking dice your onion. See tips below for info on freezing onions. Add your onions to the pot with the sausage. Stir the mixture and continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano as well as the minced or dried garlic to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to cook for 15 to 20 minutes so the flavors can blend together. When done serve over your favorite pasta, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. We also topped our pasta with a bit of feta cheese. You may prefer some other type.
WLS and Low Carb ideas: pass on the pasta and serve over spaghetti squash or zucchini that’s been cut into ribbons, thin strips or even rounds. Try summer squash in place of zucchini.
Onions: since your already dicing up one onion why not dice up a few more. Onions can be easily frozen for future use without changing texture or taste. Dice up as many as you want now and save yourself time in the future. Before bagging up your onion stop and think about what amount you normally use in your recipes. If you’ve chopped up 3 medium onions then you want to divide them up between 3 bags. If your recipes usually call for 1/2 cup of diced onions then bag that amount. Place your onions into freezer bags. I usually place multiple bags into a single larger freezer bag. Make sure to label each bag or, even better, stick a piece of paper into the larger bag with the name of the food on it, the date it was frozen and even the amount in each bag. In the case of these onions I would write: onions, medium diced and the date on the paper. When your done they will look something like this:
Homemade Sauce: this sauce freezes well so double or triple the batch if desired. When I do this I use one portion for a meal that day and allow the remainder of the sauce to cool a bit. Spoon it into a plastic container (Gladware is my personal favorite) and place in the refrigerator to cool completely. Once it has cooled the container can then be transferred to the freezer. I usually stick my plastic containers inside a larger freezer bag because I stick a paper in the bag to remind me what’s in the container. There’s nothing worse than pulling out what you think is a container of sauce only to discover it’s actually chili once it’s thawed. The plastic bag also helps to reduce any issues with freezer burn.
If you made the sauce did you find it fast and easy to make? Were the freezing tips helpful?