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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Traditional Slow Cooker Sunday Red Sauce

Put this sauce on to simmer and your worries will literally melt away.

traditional slow cooker sunday red sauce (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I do not have any Italian heritage in my name, but if I were allowed to pick, that country would be first on my list.  

At my high school graduation party when all my other friends were serving cold meat sandwiches and watery potato salad, I was serving baked ziti, homemade bread and salad catered by the lone Italian goddess in my hometown {hi Rosemary!}.

It was fabulous.  And much needed.

When you attend 15 graduation parties over the course of a weekend {hello, small town living} you get sick and tired of eating the same slop.

I am also the girl who had a four-tiered layered chocolate cake {with ALL chocolate frosting} at her wedding.

What can I say?  I dare to break the rules.

So growing up jarred sauces and I were pretty good friends.  I cannot remember my mom ever making a homemade red sauce and nothing against her or them, we just didn't take the time to make them.  But then I got married, had kids and got all Betty Crocker-ish and started making my own.  I have a few different versions.    This simple 30-minute marinara is for when I'm in a super time pinch. And this slow cooker basil marinara sauce has a completely different taste and uses fresh tomatoes out of the garden.

What I'm getting at is, it is okay to use different red sauces for different occasions.  I have certain ones I use during various times of the year.  But this sauce?  It is perfect for fall and winter.

traditional slow cooker sunday red sauce (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It's hearty and robust from the addition of red wine.  It could cook all day or all night and never fail you as the flavors just get better and better together.

The kids and I sampled this sauce with big hunks of crusty bread about an hour before dinner and let me tell you.....they are now also hooked.  I've roped them in.  They want to be Italian just like me.

This batch makes a lot and we got three meals out of it.  That first night I served it with these crispy, pan-fried chicken cutlets {another one of my favorites - hello, chicken parm!}.  The kids gobbled it up like it was no tomorrow.

We had the leftovers for lunch the next day, then served the sauce over spaghetti the night after, and finally just last night almost a week later we had it in my pepperoni pizza lasagna roll-ups.

Traditional Slow Cooker Sunday Red Sauce

*slightly adapted from The Lemon Bowl

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
32 oz. can whole tomatoes
32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 c. red wine
2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms {optional}
fresh basil and parsley

1.  In a skillet over medium heat, add in olive oil and diced onions, cooking until translucent.  Add in the minced garlic towards the end.  When finished transfer the onions and garlic to a large slow cooker.
2.  Add remaining ingredients into the slow cooker, breaking up the large whole tomatoes with your hands or kitchen scissors, leaving as chunky as you like.  I like to add around 1 T. of fresh herbs {basil and parsley} to the sauce before cooking and then again after to garnish.
3.  Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or as long or little as you need it to.  It would be ready after 4 hours but could probably go as long as 10 hours.

And in my quest, to give you photos of my "real life".  Remember people get on me about that....here is one from last weekend.  The husband and I had a blast with friends at the dual Iowa Hawkeye wrestling meet and football game.

We love the Hawkeyes {or I should say "I" love the Hawkeyes....long story}, so tailgating is my thang.  I love it.  I would do it every weekend if someone bought me season tickets.

Any takers?

There is one home game left this weekend with the chance for them to go 11-0.  It is a big deal.  And snow is in the forecast.  I'm sure it will be interesting!

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