Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage

My mother-in-law has a great spaghetti recipe that makes enough to feed an army. The reason I love that it makes so much? Well, you dirty your pots and kitchen ONCE and get to eat homemade spaghetti three to four times (at a later date, of course)...how nice is that? I am learning to cook more at one time and freeze the rest for other meals. It really makes it convenient when evenings are busy (or things come up); you can pull a healthy meal out of the freezer and put it together in minutes. This concept has been saving my family time and money.

Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sausage

This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish

olive oil (enough in the pot to saute onions and garlic)
2 large onions, diced
10 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 lbs fresh mushrooms (optional)
5 28 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
5 8 oz can of tomato sauce
2 12 oz can of tomato paste
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp Italian seasoning (I used fresh oregano and rosemary from my herb garden)
1 tbsp parsley
sugar to taste
optional: a couple splashes of red wine
2 pounds of cooked Italian Sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces (this can be cooked in a pan, or baked the same way as the meatballs...directions below)
meatballs (recipe below)
1 lb of spaghetti noodles (We love Quinoa and it is Gluten Free)
*if you want your sauce Vegetarian...leave out the meat :)

Heat olive oil in a large pot, saute onion, garlic and mushrooms (if using). Once soft, add petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves, seasonings, and sugar. Add meatballs (directions below) and sausage. Let sauce simmer for approximately 8 hours (the longer it cooks, the more the flavors combine). Serve with your favorite spaghetti noodles.
*I have also made this recipe in two large crockpots and it turned out great.

2-3 pounds of ground sirloin
3 slices of safe bread ground up in blender to make breadcrumbs (or you can use prepared safe breadcrumbs)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
Italian herbs (I use fresh oregano and rosemary from my herb garden)
Enough rice (or soy milk) to help bind together

Mix all ingredients with your hands in a large bowl and make into little balls. Place on a baking sheet (with a lip to catch any liquids...I use a pampered chef baking pan) and bake at 400 for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until browned. Once cooked through, put the meatballs in the sauce pot.

Once you eat your meal the day you prepare it, divide the rest of the cooled spaghetti sauce into gallon freezer bags (this would feed 3-4). Label the bags of sauce and put them in the freezer for later use. If we are having guests over to eat, I take out at least 2 freezer bags of sauce.

More uses for your leftover sauce?

  • meatball/sausage hot subs
  • baked ziti
  • use as pizza sauce for a homemade pizza

I got my huge 16 quart pot (it is from The Food Network) at Kohls on sale and I love it. I use it to cook tons of beans, soups, spaghetti sauce, etc. I figure it will come in handy when I am making lots of food as my two boys get older :)

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