To continue the tradition of giving the sauce my own spin, I try to make it as healthy as possible by using my baby food processor (best birthday gift ever from my mom) to grind up as many veggies as possible to mix into the sauce. Kale, spinach, zucchini, squash, peppers, carrots, you can't taste or see any of them, but they make eating pasta a whole lot healthier!
Mom's Magic Pasta Sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed through garlic press
1 large onion, diced
1 package (~1 lb.) italian sausage
2 tsp olive oil
2 large cans (14-15 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
3 small cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 bag of spinach or kale*
1 green pepper*
1 red/yellow/orange pepper*
1 bag shredded carrots*
1 yellow squash*
1 large handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 small handful of fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. fennel seed
Salt and pepper to taste
*All of these need to be run through the food processer into very small pieces. Whatever is available and fresh in your farmer's market or grocery store will work fine in this recipe instead of the vegetables listed. However, try to go for vegetables that are red/orange/yellow, otherwise your sauce may end up a color other than red.
In a large pot, add garlic, onion, and olive oil over medium heat. Once you can start to smell the onion and garlic, add the italian sausage (either cut it out of the casing or, if you don't want more dishes like me, you can push it out if you apply enough pressure). Continue to cook, breaking apart the sausage into small chunks, until the sausage is no longer pink.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, excluding one can of the tomato sauce. Stir everything together. If the sauce is no longer as red as you would like, add in the last can of sauce. Simmer on low for 60 minutes, occasionally poking with a spoon or fork to break up the tomatoes. After 60 minutes, it's ready to serve, or let cool completely before storing. When serving, make sure to top with lots of fresh parmesan!
This sauce stores really easily in the freezer. Since I'm usually only cooking for myself and/or the boo, one batch of sauce can last a loooong time. Or not really that long, because it's that good.