When I was growing up my mother would open a jar of Ragu when we had spaghetti. Even though I do like Ragu, there is just nothing like home made! My husband is Italian, and I had never made sauce from scratch. He got me started, but now, I make it my own. And the house smells phenomenal while it's cooking!
1This is a double batch of my regular sauce. The single batch always gives me enough sauce for 2 dinners, so I doubled it and will freeze the extra for the other 3 meals.
2Use an 8 qt. (or larger) crock pot. I've used a 6 qt. and without the meat added, it filled it right to the top!
3If adding meat, fry the sausage or meatballs until nice & browned. De-glaze the pan with a little wine to get all those browned bits. If NOT adding the meat, just add a little wine to the sauce. :)
4Add all the ingredients except the meat, and you can make it meatless as well. I make this sometimes with the sausage, other times with the meatballs. I have never used both together... just our preference.
5<b>** For the seasonings</b>,
My husband's grandmother taught him to add the seasonings in this order as a boy. I thought it was cute.
Made me think of snow on the meadow, with the light little fairies dancing arou.... oh! Ahem, okay back to the recipe... ; )
- First you see the grass grow (this is the oregano, basil, parsley);
- then the snow falls on the ground (parmesan cheese);
- then you see some frost on the snow (this is the sugar)
Then, of course, you mix it all in. :)
6Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. About half way through the cooking time I replace the crock pot lid with a flat slotted pan (like a pizza pan) to allow moisture to escape. The sauce needs to cook down a bit.