One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is making spaghetti sauce. Slow cooked spaghetti sauce, always has more love in it and is one of those things that you just can’t go wrong with.
Over the years my sauce has evolved. I’ll add different spices, or an pepper or two to the sauce. Making it a little different each time, but always using starting with my base and going from there, and I love keeping this as clean as possible using carrots to balance the acidity of the tomatoes rather than sugar.
This version is my current favorite, and I think you’ll love it too!
Let me clarify, when I say “slow cooked” spaghetti sauce, I’m not talking about throwing everything in a crock-pot (I have that version in the works). Its all cooked in a traditional pot, low and slow. I love cooking in in a large dutch oven, since it reduces the chance of burning your spaghetti sauce.
One thing I’ve been really into using lately in my spaghetti sauce is bell pepper. It adds this flavor to the sauce that really makes it stand out. I like to use green, but I’m torn because it darkens the sauce and I don’t like that it does that. So I’ve conceded to using red bell pepper. But make no mistake, the spaghetti sauce still tastes amazing!
Out of curiosity, do you any of you have picky pasta eaters?I mean SUPER particular about the type of pasta used. I’m not very picky, but my wife and son are. They DESPISE spaghetti noodles – I don’t know why. But they love rigatoni, penne, or mostaciolli noodles. So I’m always boiling up multiple pots of pasta.
And just a little tip with your sauce. Always stir! the last thing you want is a burnt bits in your spaghetti sauce! And don’t rush it – take your time. Enjoy a lazy Sunday with a big pot of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove, and get the whole family to come over to have a spaghetti night. This is a huge batch and its meant to be shared!
Slow Cooked Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped
- 64 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 24 oz water
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 8 oz tomato paste
- In a pot at medium heat, sweat finely chopped onions for about 5 minutes in 2 tbsp olive oil
- Add minced garlic; grate carrots into the mixture and stir in bell pepper. let cook down for about 2-3 minutes
- Add crushed tomatoes and stir into pot and add water. Stir in bay leaves, salt, oregano, basil, parsley, and black pepper. Let cook for about 30 minutes on medium, then cover the pot and reduce to low.
- Cook for about 5 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes to prevent the sauce from sticking. Check your seasoning and adjust salt for flavor. I sometimes add a little more oregano and basil depending on taste.
- In the last hour check the consistency, if its too thin, add the tomato paste, if it seems too thick add water at about 1/2 cup at a time until you have the thickness you desire and resume cooking on low for another hour.
- Let the sauce rest for about 30 minutes. Boil up some pasta, and if you're a fan of other additions to your sauce (like sauteed mushrooms!) add them now. Serve and enjoy!