Even better the next day! I always make a *big* batch in the crockpot - because when my kids hear that I am making it, they come over to snag a jar or two. If pinched for time, substitute 3/4 TSP of garlic powder and 3 TBL dried minced onions for fresh and cook in a large pot on the stove on low heat for 2 hours (stirring occasionally). When available, I prefer to use meatloaf mix instead of hamburger, but you could use frozen meatballs if you prefer. This sauce freezes well and is always worth the effort.
- 2 (28 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons sweet basil
- 2 bay leaves, remember to remove before serving
- 1⁄4 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 4 -5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 lb Italian sausage (mild or hot)
- 2 lbs hamburger
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese or 1⁄4 cup romano cheese, grated
- Place sausage in a frying pan with 1/2 cup water.
- Poke a few holes on each side of the sausage with a fork so that grease will run out.
- Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes, turning several times until sausage is no longer pink in the middle.
- Set aside to cool.
- In a big crockpot add the first eleven ingredients.
- Clean out frying pan and fry hamburger on medium heat until no longer pink.
- Use spatula to break into small pieces.
- Drain grease and add meat to the crockpot.
- Wipe out frying pan again.
- Chop onion and crush garlic cloves.
- Melt butter in frying pan and saute the onion and garlic until translucent - about 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Add to crockpot.
- Remove casings from cooled sausage and crumble sausage into the crockpot.
- Stir sauce, cover and cook about 8 hours on low.
- About 15 minutes before serving stir in the grated cheese.
- Serve over pasta.
- We like to sprinkle on more cheese and red pepper flakes and serve with a fresh salad and garlic bread.