I love store bought spaghetti sauce, even though my mother didn’t even know it existed until we were nearly teens. Once she tried it, she was hooked on the ease and the quality. She says “I figure those companies put thousands and thousands of dollars and years of research into perfecting those recipes and who are we not to use them!”. Of course, I love that way of thinking! Still, I like to dress mine up a bit. This both customizes the flavor a bit but also serves to make your sauce go further.
Making your sauce go further is important because I REALLY want you to have some leftover spaghetti sauce. It is VERY important for my next tutorial that you have some leftover because I am going to bring you a great recipe for using it up that everyone in my family loves.
You’ll need: 2 Jars or cans of spaghetti sauce, can of diced tomatoes, can of tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning. I am absolutely not loyal to any particular brand of sauce. I got this on sale, buy one get one free.
You’ll also need ground beef. Mine is already cooked, drained, and waiting in the freezer. I use a little more ground beef for this larger batch of sauce. I am using about a pound and a half.
If you’d rather, you can substitute sausage or shredded chicken for the beef. This will work fine for this recipe as well as the other one I’m going to give you for the leftovers.
Dump everything in the slow cooker. Sauce, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and beef. If you have fresh tomatoes, by all means cut up a few of those and put them in there instead of the canned.
You absolutely do not have to cook this in a slow cooker. I just like the convenience of having it cook all day and then all I have to do is boil my pasta to have supper!
Be sure you put a few tablespoons of water in the sauce jar and give it a good shake to get the last bits out, too! Now you’ll want to save this jar because spring is here (in Alabama at least!) and you know the kids are going need something to catch bugs in soon…
~clears her throat and steps up onto her soap box~
Catching bugs is a great past time and all kids need to do it. When I was a little girl, I had an entire “zoo” in the back yard made up of various plastic butter bowls filled with the critters I had found. I used to love it when I got my mama to visit my little zoo! I was big time, I’m tellin’ ya!
Here is a bit of advice though, don’t let your kids bring their zoo into the house. My son slipped a container of yard critters past me a few summers back. After being awakened in the night when some exotic beetle ventured into our bedroom and proceeded to get trapped between the headboard and the wall, we learned this the hard way. We also learned that certain beetles are a wee bit claustrophobic and set into a fluttering, buzzing panic mode when trapped.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen…
Add some Italian seasoning. I am using about a tablespoon and a half.
And I always add about a tablespoon of sugar to help bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Give it a stir, cover and cook on low all day.
If you’d rather cook this on the stove top, I recommend bringing it to a boil and then reducing the heat to low and simmering for about thirty minutes.