Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Incredible Homemade Marinara Sauce--once you try it, you will never go back to Prego!

Now, I'm not dogging on Prego Spaghetti sauce, but once you start making your own sauce--you will NEVER go back to sauce in a jar. I have several bottles in my food storage, but those are only for emergencies :) Nothing gets better than a big vat of spaghetti sauce cooking on your stove--the smell is to die for! It really isn't hard once you give it a try. I make up a HUGE batch every 3 months or so and then freeze the sauce in ziploc bags or Tupperware containers. Having homemade spaghetti sauce makes dinners a breeze. I love to make lasagna, spaghetti, meatball sandwiches, chicken parmesan, manicotti, etc. with my sauce. You can make homemade french bread (recipe in past post) and just dip in the sauce as an appetizer--it is awesome! is how you can make your own gourmet spaghetti sauce in your own home (this beats Olive Gardens any day!!)

How do I know when I need to make a batch of my sauce??....I cleaned out my freezer and found a MASSIVE amount of Italian Sausage. When it goes on sale, I stock up! (That's probably not a surprise to anyone) By the way, Tennessee Pride and Jimmy Dean sausage is the ONLY brand of sausage I will buy. My garden is also bursting with peppers, zucchini, tomatoes & other vegetables. Throw them in your sauce! This recipe is great because it uses several vegetables and your family will never know--it's a great way to sneak vegetables into your children's diets.

Marinara Red Sauce (great for freezing!)
Makes 18 qts. (can 1/2 recipe for a smaller batch)
4 lb. ground Italian sausage (spicy is optional)
1 8 oz. pkg. mushrooms, sliced
3 large fresh garlic cloves
1/3 c. salt (or more depending on taste)
1 T. pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional—to taste)
1 1/2 lb. mini carrots finely blended/diced
1 bunch celery finely blended/diced
3 medium white onions/diced
Other vegetables-optional (zucchini, peppers, etc.)
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 T. basil (Add at the end of the cooking process to retain it's flavor)
2 T. sugar
30 cans of stewed tomatoes (15oz.), with juices (whole) or frozen/fresh tomatoes from your garden-if they are fresh, add a little more sugar and salt to balance the acidic flavor. If you use only fresh tomatoes you will need anywhere from 40-50 tomatoes (depending on their size).
4 cans tomato paste for thickening

Use food processor to dice carrots, onions and celery (and any other vegetables) into small chunks. Sauté all above ingredients (carrots, onions, celery, sausage, mushrooms & spices) in large saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add tomatoes including juice from can. For a smooth red sauce, puree all tomatoes and ingredients together in blender (or use blender/wand-- they work great!). Or, for meatier sauce, puree tomatoes only, and leave other ingredients in chunks. Allow sauce to simmer 2-5 hours on low with out the lid, sauce should reduce about one third. Add basil right before serving. Taste to make sure sauce does not need any more salt, sugar or seasoning. Simmer on stove or in roaster pan until thick. Let sauce cool and then freeze sauce in Tupperware’s or freezer bags for later meals.
**One of my favorite tricks...if you have extra tomatoes in your garden and don't want to can them, FREEZE them! Rinse them off, cut out the core and place in freezer bags (don't remove skin). Keep in your freezer until you are ready to use in later recipes, for homemade red sauce, chili, etc.


Emily said...

Wow! I can smell your marinara sauce from my house. :) Yum! And I agree, it truly is the best sauce out there.

Kendra said...

How many fresh tomatoes do you use? 8-10 or is that 8-10 cans? I'm confused. Also do you add the basil after you take it out of the freezer or just before you put it in?

Mom Peggy said...

What size can of stewed tomatoes do you use?

Ashlee Simons said...

WoWhooooooooo! I tried this today and it was great. I have often thought why plant tomatos??? I am not really that found of them except in tacos??? This is a great way to make your family eat them and now I am wondering if I have enough! Next year baby I am going to buy a pressure cooker and bottle it!!!

EdsonBunch said...

I don't know what i am going to do in an emergancy if i loose power. I come to your blog everytime I am in a pinch!!! I was given 26 pounds of tomatoes yesterday and didn't know what to do with them...I had a thought, I bet that food storage deal lady would have some great tips!! THANKS!

Ben and Trina said...

What size of can of tomatoe paste do you use?

Becky said...

Do you use the Jimmy Dean and Tennessee Pride mild breakfast sausage? Do they make Italian?

Sharida said...

I hope this isn't too late and that you get this....I'd love to bottle this recipe with the meat. I do have a pressure canner however I am new to the whole canning things. I was never taught so this is my first year. Is this recipe okay to bottle up as long as I pressure cook it? Do you have any other advice I might need to know being my first time and all?? Thanks tons! BTW - You totally rock! I've been a member since the beginning of the year and you've been an inspiration to my food storage! Thanks~

Summer Scraps said...

I just found your blog and love it!. I have been looking for a good marinara sauce to can (pressure cook). I saw the above comment and was wondering if this sauce can be pressure cooked?


Shandra said...

Yeah..welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy it ;)

I had a USU extension service (aka canning specialist) tell me that my recipe is not necessarily pressure can safe (because it hasn't been officially tested) For that reason I have not attempted to can it, but I do make it in the boat loads and freeze it in my freezer for a later time. I know there are official recipes that you can pressure cook, I just have not had one that tastes great yet--compared to this recipe. When I find one, I will pass it along!

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