In March of 2010, while we were still in our early dating phase, the hubs invited me over for a home cooked meal. I was fully impressed and simultaneously intimidated when this sauce came to the table! After years of working in kitchens, he had slowly picked up various ways to make shifts to this recipe, and it hasn’t yet disappointed.
This is one of those sauces that we cook on a weekend and then design meals around for the rest of the week. I’m sure it freezes well, but we actually haven’t tried that yet because it is always gone before we need to. We have put it on pizza, quinoa, pasta; we have dipped bread into it; and we have also just eaten it straight from the bowl. Every family needs one of these, right?
In preparing it this time, I learned from him that when you put fresh basil into the sauce early in the cooking process it adds a basil taste and if you add it late, it adds a basil scent. Apparently there are all or nothing camps on this one, but he has opted to go 1/2 and 1/2. Seems to work well!
This sauce has been cooked both on the stove as well as within a crock pot. We opted for the crock pot this round.
- 1 giant can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (90 oz)
- 1 red onion – diced
- 2 “majorly heaping” Tablespoons of minced garlic
- 3-4 carrots – cut into rounds
- 2 lbs hot italian sausage (whole)
- 1 small package of basil (.75 oz)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cracked Red Pepper (“LOTS!”)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
Steps and Notes:
- Pour the can of tomatoes directly into the pot on medium.
- If using a crock pot you still want to do this pre-heating step
- Poke holes in the sausages and brown in a frying pan.
- The holes will allow some yummy juices to escape which will then flavor the onions.
- Use tongs to move the browned sausages into the pot.
- Make sure to keep those juices!
- On the stove, saute the onions and garlic in the sausage juices for 5 minutes. Then, add the carrots. After about 5 minutes add all of this to the pot.
- De-stem the basil and cut into ribbons. Create two piles on the cutting board and place half into the pot with the tomatoes.
- Bring the whole sauce up to a boil and then down to a simmer.
- Simmer for 4-8 hours. This is really an estimate. Whatever works with your schedule will still be tasty.
- About 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the rest of the basil, plus some salt to taste. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil so that there is a very thin layer over the top of the sauce. Give it a good mix, and you’re ready to eat!