In order for me to spend any time outside, sometimes I need to resort to drastic measures. This might mean that we'll eat 6 whole chickens in a week's time, or consume 4 pints of raspberry freezer jam in a matter of days. All with the purpose of clearing out some space in the freezer for other stuff. Important stuff.
Pasta saucy stuff.
I found this recipe in the cookbook, "The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth." I didn't use a crockpot though. Because I'm an idiot. (Don't worry, I already knew this fact, so I'm not too upset.) In order to make a gallon of pasta sauce, one needs to make sure that their crockpot will hold a gallon's worth of sauce.
Mine is one quart shy of a gallon.
Of course. Somehow this doesn't surprise me either.
Never one to be outdone by idiocrisy, I retaliated with my trusty Dutch oven.
Because it holds 1 gallon, plus 1 quart.
I love the Dutch.
If you happen to have a bigger crockpot than I, please don't tell me. I don't want to know. I can't know. Because if I know that there are other, bigger and better crockpots out there, I will want one. And I must refrain from purchasing a new one. Because the sun is shining, and I'm holding out for one of these~
|♥Cuisinart 2-quart ice cream maker♥|
~Turkey Sausage Pasta Sauce~
1 c. sun-dried tomato strips in olive oil, drained, oil reserved
1-2 Tb. olive oil
2 large sweet onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
5 large grated carrots
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 links Italian turkey sausage (I could only find mild, but the original calls for spicy.)
4 (28 oz.) cans crushed or diced tomatoes
2 t. dried oregano
1/2 Tb. Sucanat (can use brown sugar)
1/2 Tb. sea salt
1 t. cracked black pepper
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. ground fennel (I only had seeds, so I used a mortar & pestle to crush them.)
In a large skillet, heat 3 Tb. reserved olive oil (from tomatoes) over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot, and bell pepper and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the onions are softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Transfer the mixture to a crockpot or Dutch oven and add the sun-dried tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, oregano, Sucanat, salt, pepper, thyme, and fennel and stir gently to combine.
Using the same skillet, add the 1-2 Tb. olive oil and heat on medium heat. Carefully remove the sausage casing by cutting up the side of the sausage. Add the meat to the pan and crumble with a wooden spoon. Cook until sausage is no longer pink. Add to the crockpot/Dutch oven and stir well.
If using a crockpot, cook on low for 6-8 hours. In a Dutch oven, cook on low (with a lid) for approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and cook an additional 30 minutes longer to allow mixture to thicken up.
This makes approximately 1 gallon. Zucchini would be a great addition for summertime sauce.
Oh wait, I don't like zucchini...☺