This is one of my favorite recipes to make for friends when we have them over for dinner. Italian is casual, simple to make and inexpensive. Start this early in the day, let it simmer for a few hours and right before the guests arrive, boil your pasta, toast the garlic bread and toss up a Caesar salad...nothing else could be so simple. This recipe makes a full 6 quarts so it will feed an army. It freezes very well so I package the leftovers in containers for simple and delicious weekday meals.