We used to do Italian Sunday's back when the Sopranos came on every Sunday at 10pm ... and this was one of the things I always had on standby in the freezers ...
It also happens to be the ONE thing that I am in charge of making whenever we run out ... normally Hubby will try to out do me, but not on this one ... this is the ONE thing I am 100% responsible for making! Sweet. I have him one upped!
So ... just a reminder ... Hubby does NOT like chunky cooked tomatoes. Totally turns him off the dish if it happens.
And ... he has this bay leaf phobia thing ... if there is a piece of bay leaf floating around, he will get it, bite it and totally flip out. I know this for a fact. First time, amuzing, second time, frightning ;-)
Needless to say, I like to start this when he's still sleeping or just out of the house!
You will need several hours for it to simmer and get happy so don't expect to start this at 5pm for chowing by 6, ain't happening!
This makes a fairly large batch of sauce, intentionally. I freeze several bags in the freezer (lay them flat so that they will defrost faster!)
Let's hop to it and get you a pot of sauce simmering!
About 2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 lbs (or so) Italian sausage (I used 4 to 5 links, and slice through the casing, peel it off and break it up)
1 tsp oregano (dried)
1 tsp marjoram
1 large bay leaf (or 2 to 3 smaller ones)
6 oz tomato paste
3/4 cup water
About 90 ounces crushed tomatoes (3 large cans) ... I just buy one of them Costco sized tomato sauce cans, I think its' 105 ounces? because hubby doesn't do chunky cooked tomatoes) (you can do diced tomatoes if that's your thing OR you can toss diced tomatoes in the food process/blender and make it smooth)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup loose packed fresh basil, julienned (you know, sliced thin!)
Heat olive oil in LARGE pot. Add onions and garlic, saute for a minute or so to sweat. Then add sausage and cook til no longer pink, breaking up as you go.
Add the remaining ingredients except the fresh basil. Allow to simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce hits the thickness you like, turn it off and let it cool down a bit. Take the basil (if you remember!) and stir them in to the pot ... honestly, I forgot 80% of the time and it's still pretty damn good without them.
Serve up with your favorite pasta. Freeze excess into serving portions your family uses. I freeze in gallon size bags but think next time I will do quart size ...
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