This is Michael's mom's spaghetti sauce, the one he grew up with. His mom has quite a sense of humor. She jokes that she isn't Italian so she can't make Italian spaghetti, but she's Polish so she can make "Polish spaghetti." Authentic or not, it's a good, easy multi-purpose sauce that you can use for spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, or other baked pasta dishes, and you can cook it all day in the slow cooker or in a couple hours on the stove.
This makes an all-purpose sauce that we use for many things. Throw in some meatballs during the last two hours of cooking, or use the sauce for lasagna. It's also delicious spooned over roasted vegetables.
To make a meaty sauce, cook with browned Italian sausage, one pound spicy and one pound sweet.
The sauce is naturally gluten free, so read the labels if you decide to add sausage or meatballs.
Ann’s Spaghetti Sauce
- 6-quart slow cooker or 6-quart pot with a lid
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 12 ounces canned tomato paste
- 1½ cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoons dried basil
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (optional)
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
- 1 pound sweet or mild Italian sausage
- Slow cooker: Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for 6 hours or more. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
- Stove: Put all ingredients in the 6-quart pot and stir. Cover and cook on medium until the sauce just begins to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2-½ hours. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
- Meat Sauce Variation: Brown the Italian sausage and drain the fat. Add the remaining ingredients and finish cooking.