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My Spaghetti Story
I grew up on Prego and thin spaghetti noodles. Oh I could smell that stuff cooking from a mile away. Spaghetti night was one of my favorite nights as a kid. I loved being able to slurp the noodles and cover my plate with as much parmesan as I so desired. My mama would grab a jar of Prego and brown some beef up and we would have dinner on the table in 20 minutes. My mother was magical that way.
When I left the nest and ventured out into the cold dark world by myself, I decided I would make my own spaghetti sauce. From scratch. Because I was awesome.
and then this happened
So I went to the store and bought pounds of tomatoes, fresh herbs, raw onions, and bulbs of garlic. I took them back to my tiny apartment and started chopping. Since I didn't know how to dice a tomato, my beautiful fresh produce was now squished to death by a dull knife. My eyes were burning from chopping an onion and I had to take out a second mortgage on my apartment to afford the fresh herbs!
(Yes, I know taking a second mortgage out on an apartment is not necessarily possible, but it did happen to me.)
I vowed never again to make my own sauce. I would buy a jar of sauce and be disappointed by the taste, but satisfied with the work.
Until... I made up my own.
I have done my best to make this a dump and go meal. Your crockpot does all of the work, so you can't complain that much. Buying canned ingredients cuts on cost but does not sacrifice flavor. And using spices you already have makes you feel like a resourceful kitchen queen. Yes- it is a thing.
The crockpot pictured is my go to. It is a medium sized crock pot rather than my much larger one i use for big family meals. For two of us, this is absolutely perfect AND it is easier to fit in the sink than my bigger crockpot. We got this one for our wedding and are obsessed with it.
Grab yours here!
Okay here is how you do it
Grab a giant can of crushed tomatoes. And a giant can of diced tomatoes. Or two small ones, I am not your mother. One can of tomato sauce, and brown up some beef. Hopefully, you have prepped your browned beef ahead and have it seasoned and sauted with onions. But, if you do not, brown it up right about now. I usually brown my ground beef with onions on Sunday and have it ready to go in the fridge when I am wanting spaghetti later that week. This saves time and dishes- two things I am always lacking.
Dump all of the above mentioned things into your crockpot. Give it a big stir and grab all of your spices. The famous trio (salt, pepper, garlic), Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, onion powder, and sugar. Sugar? Yes, sugar. Real sugar. Not splenda, not coconut flake sugar, not stevia- sugar.
I am the literal worst at measuring BUT I have done my best to give you some excatish measurements. The crushed red pepper can really spice things up, so if you are a mild kind of person, pour with a light hand. If you like things SPICAY dump all of the crushed red pepper your little heart desires.
Stir it up, put the lid on, and forget about it for 8ish hours. When you walk back into your house you will swear you are in Sicily.
My gracious, the smell alone will knock you on the floor.
Fix some noodles of your choice, its a free country. Serve your carbs with a side of carbs and put that garlic bread to good use by soaking up all of the excess sauce that collects on the bottom of your bowl. You will be full, happy, and probably sleepy after a bowl of this homemade spaghetti sauce.
To get the most bang for your buck here, go ahead and grab your monster crockpot. You know, the one that you reserve for cooking food to feed a small army? Make the most of your time and double this recipe. It freezes incredibly well and I promise that once you try it, you will indeed wish you had exactly 3 more pounds of it. Also, when you want to step up your pasta game, check out my Freezer Lasagna. Use this sauce as the base of your lasagna and you will never buy jarred sauce again.
(1) 28 oz jar crushed tomatoes
(2) 14oz cans of diced tomatoes (italian style or regular)
(1) 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 lb ground beef (drained)
3/4 cup of chopped frozen onion
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp crushed red pepper to taste
Brown ground beef and drain all but on tablespoon of fat. Sauté beef with frozen onions until tender. Set aside. In a medium crockpot add all canned tomatoes, spices, and beef mixture. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Serve with your favorite pasta and garlic bread!
Awesome medium sized Crockpot