Meat Sauce

Linking up with Jessica over at Life As Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap ... today's thoughts are on freezer friendly stuff (ironically, I believe March is Freezer Food month!?) ... so here's my one surefire freezer thing that I make on a consistent basis, and will be making this weekend (now that I located the italian sausage from the bottom of the freezer AND thank you Publix for having the Italian Days sale so I could stock up on tomato sauce and paste dirt cheap!)...

This is one of those sauces that taste awesome, but you really need to let it simmer for a few hours, generally I start it on a Sunday morning and let it go all day, serve some for dinner and then package and freeze on Monday. Makes enough for 2 to 5 more meals, depending on the number of people you are serving (and well, we like a lot of sauce on our pasta!)

2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 to 1.5 lbs of italian sausage, remove casing (slice the sausage the whole length and just peel off)
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp marjoram
1 large bay leaf, break into thirds (I have to hide mine in the sauce, Hubby "thinks" he hates bay leaves, but doesn't seem to realize that THIS is why he LOVES the sauce)
6 oz can of tomato paste (that's the smaller can)
6 regular size cans of either tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes (even diced) (your choice as Hubby hates chunky cooked tomatoes so I puree if chunky before tossing in pan)
1 can of water
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced thin (if you have, I've forgotten so many times and ask myself if it's really needed, but it does add another flavor)

Ready to start cooking? In medium size stock pot, heat oil. Saute onions & garlic 1 minute or so, then add sausage and cook, breaking up as it cooks.

Cook, stirring occasionally til sausage is cooked, but not overly so. If there is too much fat at bottom of pan for your taste, drain and then add rest of ingredients, except the fresh basil, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring all the while. Reduce heat to low simmer til just bubbling (perking). Simmer, uncovered 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

After an hour, stir in fresh basil (if you happen to remember!).

Serve with your favorite pasta. Or just grab a loaf of fresh bread and start dipping. Make some chicken Parmesan! Or just use it on pasta ... it's so dang good I get all giddy with the prospects!

So what is one of your favorite sauces to make? AND if it's freezable, link up with Life as Mom!

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