Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

 Spaghetti SauceIn keeping with trying to buy less packaged products, this week we are featuring our favorite spaghetti sauce. This one does take more time to make, but in the end, it is well worth the effort. If you have home canned tomatoes, please feel free to use them. Just make sure that you create the right consistency for them that you need. I do use store bought tomatoes, but am very careful about which ones I buy. Be a label reader. Make sure your cans are lined with BPA Free liners. If you don’t have a garlic mincer, use the side of your chef’s knife (the big one) to mash the garlic clove on a cutting board after peeling and washing it. The more you make this, the faster you will get with the preparation. My first time took me a lot longer than 20 minutes. Now I can do my prep in less than 20 minutes. Get organized first, it makes things go a lot faster and smoother. Serve this dish over your choice of pasta or for those following a ketogenic diet, serve over baked spaghetti squash, or spiral cut zucchini. Sprinkle on cheese! Manga!

 HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI SAUCE

 PREP TIME: 20 MINS

 COOK TIME: 70 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, chopped and divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (12-ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 cans (14-ounces each) Italian-style diced tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (28-ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces button or baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the chopped onions, and sauté until translucent and slightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly for a minute or so.
  2. Add beef, and cook, breaking into small pieces, until it is no longer pink, 6-7 minutes. Drain excess grease.
  3. In a blender or food processor, blend remaining 1 cup onion and the red pepper until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pot with the beef and onions.
  4. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and thyme, and cook for 1 minute, stirring until combined.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, mushrooms (if using), beef broth, and sugar. Stir until combined before adding the bay leaves.
  6. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and let the sauce rest for 10-15 minutes (for the flavor to absorb) before serving.
  7. Slow cooker 4-6 hours on high; 7-9 on low; add balsamic vinegar 15 minutes before done.

    For Keto Diet Use: To bake spaghetti squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash, split open, remove seeds and fibers in center, rinse. Drizzle with olive oil and put face down on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop contents from shell. Enjoy with your spaghetti sauce.

    You can also use spiral cut zucchini squash and summer squash together in place of the spaghetti squash. Sauté’ them in a little butter or olive oil until tender, then serve with the sauce.

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