Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce

I love making homemade spaghetti sauce. For several years now, I've been trying to make more homemade foods to save money. Also, I know what's in my food (i.e. no chemical additives, etc.). I used to buy ready-made spaghetti (and pizza) sauces that come in a can or jar, and while they definitely are easier and more time-consuming to use, I like knowing that I'm making my own with what we have.

I like to make my spaghetti sauce in big batches so that it can be frozen and pulled out whenever I decide to make spaghetti. Here's what I do. (You can click on the images to see them in a larger size, by the way.)

My usual recipe:
2 lbs. turkey
2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2-15 oz. cans tomato sauce (or 2 cans tomato paste & 2 cans water)
diced onion

The recipe you're seeing in pictures (altered due to fewer cans of sauce on hand):
2 lbs. turkey
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
diced onion

Prepare your ingredients. For me, I always  use oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic seasoning (which includes salt and a little bit of chives), chopped garlic and basil (at this time, fresh basil from my herb garden). Also, I used a can of tomato sauce and a large can of crushed tomatoes because that was all I had on hand at the time. (So in this case, I made a concentrated spaghetti sauce with the plan to later add a can of spaghetti sauce to the frozen batch.) Two cans of each is what I normally use, but feel free to add more, if you like a very saucy recipe. Our tomatoes are not ready yet, so I'm having to use store-bought sauce and tomatoes for now. (Note: You can also use tomato paste in place of either the sauce or tomatoes--just make sure you add a can of water for each can of tomato paste or your sauce will be really thick.)

Put ground turkey (or lean beef, if you prefer) and diced onion (I use 1/4 an onion, because we're not big fans of onion) on to cook. Add some water so the turkey doesn't stick to the skillet. I usually use two pounds of turkey for a big batch. Two pounds makes for a very meaty sauce. If you prefer a more saucy recipe, you can simply add more sauce and tomatoes to the recipe.

While the turkey cooks,add your sauce, tomatoes, and spices into a pot. Put the stove on medium heat until it starts to gently boil, then adjust the heat down a little. If it's splattering, turn it down a bit more. As the sauce is cooking, taste it to see if you like the flavor. Add extra herbs/seasonings as needed.

Once your meat is fully cooked, drain any remaining fat then add the meat to the pot of sauce that you have simmering. Your results may not look like mine, especially if you prefer a more saucy and less meaty sauce.

Cook your sauce for an extra few minutes to lock some flavor into the meat.

Spoon your sauce into quart-sized Ziploc bags and lay flat inside the freezer.

Happy spaghetti eating!

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