Though we have no Italian heritage in our family, I still want to cook the homemade goodness of my childhood memories! With much experimentation, I've come up with this simple, yet tasty recipe for Spaghetti Sauce...plus, you can make a big pot full and freeze it for later!
Ingredients (add in this order):
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Minced Garlic
2 Large Onions, Minced
1 Cup Red Wine
3 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup White Sugar
3 Large (29 oz) Cans Tomato Sauce
3 Large (29 oz) Cans Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
In a large pot, saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil for about a minute. Then add the wine and let it simmer for about 2 minutes to cook off a good amount of the alcohol. Add the remaining ingredients and set to low heat. Simmer for 2 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
The red wine I used was a gift from some dear friends who have been making their own wine at home. It's so delicious and cheap to make that I think I'll be dabbling in the home-wine-making business myself soon!
I have a bumper crop of fresh basil this year, so I was happy to put in a whole bunch straight from the garden.
Here's what you want the sauce to look like as it's simmering...small bubbles only:
After 2 hours, take it off the heat and let it cool for about another hour.
Now you can bag it up in double lined freezer bags (I always use two freezer bags when dealing with a liquid) and keep it in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you're ready to use it, simply defrost in your microwave.
This recipe makes about 25 Cups of Spaghetti Sauce, the equivalent of 8 Jars (24-25 oz each) of high-quality store-bought pasta sauce. (Have you noticed that the size of the spaghetti sauce jars is getting smaller?) I separated mine into 5 servings - 4 freezer bags and 1 for dinner with my homemade "Just Like Italy Meatballs."
Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:
25 Cups Homemade Chunky Tomato Basil Spaghetti Sauce (Canned Tomatoes/Sauce $0.75 each, Basil $0.00, Wine $0.00, Pantry Items $1.00)
Total Fake-It Cost: $5.50
Compare to 25 Cups High Quality Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, like Victoria Pasta Sauce ($6.19, 25 oz jar)
Total Fake-It Yourself Savings: $44.02