It is funny how you cut your grocery bill each time you cut an item out of your list. You purchase fewer items, but the items you buy end up being more of a staple than processed. I very rarely purchase quick meals because if you plan ahead you can have some healthy meals on hand ready to make. I make my own pancakes, waffles, bread, jam (when fruit is cheap). I make my own salad dressing/marinades, spice blends and brown sugar. I also make my own spaghetti sauce. This is something that has always intimidated me. I grew up in a house hold that mainly ate meat and potatoes. Pasta was from a box of Kraft spaghetti. I still love that stuff today.
My husband grew up in a family of 6 kids and 2 parents. They ate lots of pasta and quick meals as both parents worked. He loved his grandmother’s spaghetti sauce. I used to ask her how to make it, but she cooked old school and didn’t use measurements when she made her sauce. She also used to start her sauce first thing in the morning and let it cook all day. Me? I thought he was crazy! How could I, with 4 kids, possible have time to do this? His Aunt in law Francine’s parents used to take one day a month and cook all the meals for that month. Then again both of Francine’s parents cooked so it was something they spent time together doing. I admired both his grandmother and aunt’s parents, but never dreamed I could do what either of them did. Yet I would freeze uncooked apple pies in the fall.
Now, I still haven’t perfected the freezing a months worth of meals at a time. I don’t have the freezer space or the containers to freeze or cook in that would work, but I have learned how to make a mean spaghetti sauce that he loves. Now it is definitely not his grandmother’s recipe. It is completely my own. I spent months making this up. I had to get just the right amounts of herbs, spices, and sweetness for it. I still want to play with it, but he doesn’t really like it when I do.
|Not mine, but looks just like it.|
Sue’s Spaghetti Sauce
1 large can diced Tomatoes
1 small can diced Tomatoes
3 large cans of Tomato sauce
1 lg can Tomato paste
1/2 cup of raw sugar
2 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper*
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and slow cook on low or simmer for 6 to 8 hours.
I use a crock pot to cook as I have no patience to remember when to stir or clean up the mess on the stove from splattering spaghetti sauce.
If you notice there is no basil, oregano, or Italian seasoning. I was playing with making this during a time in which I was in love with herbs de Provence. I use raw sugar because my future son in law left a package of it at my house on accident. I wasn’t sure what to do with it so I used it in this recipe. It worked so good, that I am afraid to change it.
*cayenne pepper. Yes that is right there is cayenne pepper in this sauce. We love heat in our foods. This can be omitted or cut down in the amount you use.
A word on spices and herbs. Spices and herbs do not go bad. The strength of taste lessens as time goes by. I am very careful when using the cayenne. If the bottle of spice I am using is new I use 1/2 of a Tbsp. If it is older than I use the full Tbsp. The same can be said for every spice or herb you own.
I usually start this first thing in the morning, just like Grandma did, but if I am busy or not going to be home to start it first thing in the am, then I assemble all the ingredients the night before. I put everything into the crock pot bowl, stir, and put into the refrigerator the night before with the lid on. When I get up the next morning, I just put the crock pot bowl into the heating element. I plug it in and turn it on low and walk away.
This makes a good spaghetti sauce for spaghetti, lasagna, manicotti, etc. I freeze the left over for other meals in quart freezer bags. Yes, I know, but I don’t have canning jars or a canner right now.
Every day I find something new that I would like to make from scratch. Now I want to find a way to make a basic tomato sauce on the cheap for use with the tomato based sauces such as spaghetti or pizza sauce.
Have a happy Monday!
Have a happy creative living day!