My Kids Love This Spaghetti Sauce in the Slow Cooker
The Crock Pot
I Finally Made the Perfect Sauce for the Kids
Any parent knows that kids can be quite picky when it comes to food. My kids eat a variety of things and usually give most things a taste but they can be picky with some foods. Spaghetti sauce is one that they are picky with. I have tried many ways of making sauce, I like to try my own ingredients and use a little of this and a little of that. This time it turned out perfect, I actually wrote it down (I usually don't and just wing it each time.) This makes a lot and is usually enough for two meals for us but for most families it will probably be at least three meals. My family eats a lot, but we mostly eat healthy so it is ok.
We usually just put the leftover sauce in the refrigerator and I make something else with it within a week, but it can be frozen for dinner another night. Just put it in a freezable plastic container and put in freezer.
I know most kids do not like peppers and onions but you will not taste the strong taste of either. It just gives it a touch of flavor. If they are picky, just make sure there are no visible peppers on top of their plate. You will also notice that I do not use tomato paste but it turns out great and not all water. This is also a little more garlic flavor then some sauce but it is not real over powering. If you don't like garlic as much, use just a little less.
All of these ingredients can be any brand you like and with the tomatoes, you can even use store brand. I have tried store brand and name brand tomatoes and tasted no difference.
You will need:
29 ounce can tomato sauce
28 ounce can diced tomatoes drained as best as you can
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic (or 3 teaspoons minced garlic in a jar)
1 teaspoon sugar (Sugar takes the bitter out of tomatoes, I would not recommend sweetener)
1 and 1/2 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (any mix with basil and oregano in in)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
about 1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds of sweet ground sausage
In the crock pot mix all ingredients except the parmesan cheese and sausage. Cover and let it cook on high for about an hour. Start to cook the sausage on the stove, when the sausage is fully cooked add it to the sauce mixture. I usually keep this on high the whole time to shorten the cook time but you could also lower it to low now if you would like it to be done in longer then 4 to 5 hours. I cook the sausage separate instead of throwing it in crock pot to cook to make it a little healthier. You can cook the sausage in it, but I prefer to keep the extra grease out of my sauce. Make sure it cooks on high for about an hour before adding the sausage so the sausage does not have a chance of going bad, you will be bringing the mixture up in temperature a little before adding it.
In the last half hour of cooking, add the parmesan cheese. It will add just the right flavor. I have forgotten to add it, it just doesn't taste the same. Once you add the sausage, cooking time on high will be about 4 to 5 hours. Resist temptation to remove the lid anymore then to add the sausage and the cheese, it will add cooking time to the sauce every time you take the lid off. This recipe is also forgiving of time cooking adjustments. If it cooks a little longer, you will not hurt anything.
Make your favorite pasta and dinner is served!
The Cook's Note
We don't really like a lot of salt here and you may find that the sauce needs a little more. Tho take note if you buy regular canned tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, that there is sodium in it. I would recommend trying it with just the little bit of sauce to start (remember that parmesan cheese adds sodium as well) and if you want a little more, add it to the plates and adjust next time.
You can also use sausage links instead of ground sausage. Have fun and be creative!