Here is my big batch recipe for vegetarian spaghetti sauce. This recipe has been in my family for years so I have fond memories whenever I make it. It reminds me of helping my mom in the kitchen when I was a little girl.
This makes multiple meals that you can freeze in serving sizes. If you have a big enough stock pot, you can make a double batch. My husband and I get about 8 meals out of this sauce. Pasta is pretty cheap and this sauce is full of veggies so it makes for a good meal. If you want to add meat to it you absolutely can. You can mix in browned ground beef, veal or pork. Season you meat before you brown it. (Salt and pepper) You can also add cooked meatballs toward the end or cooked sausage in the middle of the cooking process.
There are two ways to approach this sauce. One way is to use 3 large tins of crushed tomatoes. Or if you can your own tomatoes like I do, I use 2 of my 1 litre jars of whole Roma tomatoes. I run the whole tomatoes through the blender before adding them to my sauce. Using homemade tomatoes will require a little longer cook time as they have more juice than store bought tomatoes. I have modified this recipe to make it a one pot dinner. You can sauté the veggies in a separate wok or fry pan if you choose, but I have never had a problem doing it this way.
In a large stock pot add:
3 or 4 celery stalks, diced
15 chopped mushrooms
1-2 whole green peppers, diced (I like to switch it up with red or orange peppers once in awhile. Green peppers are very sharp)
2 chopped green onions
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sauté the pepper and celery first, when softened throw in the rest of your veggies. Stir fry about 5 minutes. Add one tin pure tomato paste (the small size) and ix in with the veggies.
Immediately add your tomatoes and a large tin tomato juice. (Brand names tend to be a little thicker such as Heinz, however, the store brands are just fine. It adds a few minutes of cook time to the recipe but is much cheaper.
Add 2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons basil
4 cloves of garlic or to taste (we love garlic so I usually throw in 5 or 6 cloves)
A pinch of sugar (this is very important as it takes the acidity out of the tomatoes) I put about 1 teaspoon
Parsley to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer for about 1-2 hours or until firm. Your spoon should be able to stay up when put it the sauce. Stir sauce about every 10 minutes or so.
For me, when I make spaghetti sauce and I have to be near it to stir it, I live to bake bread or rolls or garlic bread or do other baking. It is a good use of your time to do something productive in the kitchen when you need to stay near the kitchen. But you could definitely sit down with your book, do a puzzle or game with the kids, just remember to check and stir every few minutes.
Since this is comfort food, you can add a little magical tone to this recipe by cooking with the intent on bringing your family comfort. Especially nice on a cold winter’s day.
Let me know what you guys think about this sauce!