August 11, 2010
Spaghetti Sauce From Scratch
I’m actually not very fond of tomatoes. I like them cooked just fine, but I don’t like them raw. I don’t like the taste, smell or feel of them. I even dislike tomato plants. I have grown a few tomato plants over the years for the sake of my family and this year I decided to try a grape tomato plant. That one plant has produced an abundance of tomatoes over the past few weeks and I have learned that I don’t mind eating them raw (the smaller the better, though).
So when I started receiving lots of large tomatoes from my CSA box I knew I would have to do something with them. The grape tomatoes were all we needed for regular eating. That led me to deciding to try spaghetti sauce from scratch. I really thought it would be too much work, especially boiling the tomatoes and peeling them, but I was wrong. Sure, it takes longer than opening a jar, but it wasn’t bad at all, and I made of lot of it.
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
- 5 lbs. tomatoes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 lbs. ground beef or sausage
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1/4 c. red wine
Doing this step doesn’t take long and it makes removing the skins so easy. They slide right off the tomato, and sometimes just fall off. The tomato in this picture was half peeled before I removed any skin.
Once the tomatoes are peeled, slice them in half and use your finger to remove the seeds. You might need to slice them again the same direction to remove more seeds. The tomato half on the left side of this picture has been seeded.
Now chop the tomatoes. The size is up to you. Place them in a colander while you work on the rest of the sauce. Put a bowl underneath if you want to save the tomato juice. Draining the tomatoes will help keep the sauce from being too watery. I actually skipped this step and wished I hadn’t. I had to later thicken the sauce by reduction.
Brown the ground beef or sausage. When it is halfway done, add the onions and garlic to soften them up some. They cook slowly in the crock pot and I like my onions well done. Drain.
Add everything except the wine to your slow cooker and stir to mix. The herbs can be adjusted to taste.
Cover it and cook on high 3 – 3 1/2 hours or low 6 – 6 1/2 hours. Stir in the wine, turn the cooker to high if you had it on low, and cook another 30 minutes. Remove the lid during this time if the sauce is too thin.
This makes a large batch of sauce so you can freeze the extra or plan to use it for more than one meal.
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This post is linked to the following food carnivals. The links you will find there are not necessarily gluten-free, but many are naturally gluten-free or can easily be adapted.
- Ultimate Recipe Swap
- Friday Foodie Fix
- Delicious Dishes
- Tasty Tuesday
- Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
- Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
- Real Food Wednesday
Oh boy, I'm a bit passionate about tomatoes.
- Diana Keough
P.S. And keep up the great work!
I'm also a huge fan of the grape tomatoes! You should try the yellow grape tomatoes, they're realy good too :)
My version of from-scratch sauce (which I made last night with CSA tomatoes too!) is more basic. I saute some onions in a little olive oil, add in diced tomatoes and garlic. I then add a little salt (usually more salt later to taste, I don't like to front load too much!) and any herbs or spices I am feeling like. Let 'er simmer. That's about it. I should get more adventurous!
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