While I have never given out my recipe for homemade pasta sauce that I simmer on the stove, I will share this easier crock pot version which is certainly not lacking in taste! This sauce gets a good deal of its flavor from the meats and fresh basil.
Preparation time: 30 minutes (I can do it in 15-20!)
Cooking time in a 5 quart crock pot: low setting 5-6 hours, high setting 4-5 hours (sauce is done when sausage and pepperoni can be cut with a fork)
Serves 8 or more.... (keep leftover sauce in fridge for a week or freeze up to three months)
1/2 oz fresh basil
2 cans (28 ounces) tomato puree
2 tbs chopped garlic
1/4 tsp dried oregano
4 tbs olive oil
1.25 pounds (5 links) sweet Italian sausage
2 packages (5 oz each) Hormel pepperoni (each contains 2 small sticks)
1.5 lbs ground sirloin
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregeno
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup of finely grated Romano cheese
1 egg (or 1/3 cup egg beaters)
Spray the inside of the crock pot with PAM or equivalent olive oil spray. Pour in the two cans of tomato puree, and add garlic, basil, olive oil, and oregano. Stir and turn on crock pot on hi.
Cut pepperoni sticks into five or six pieces each and add to crock pot along with sausage links.
In a large bowl combine ground meat, breadcrumbs, egg, oil, water, basil, oregeno, and grated cheese. Mix well with hands until uniform in texture and appearance. Shape into 12 meatballs. Add to crock pot and cover.
Set heat to low if you prefer the longer cooking time. If cooking on high, once pot begins simmering, after an hour stir every hour. You can add an hour or two of cooking time by doing everything with the crock pot off and then turning it on low after adding the meatballs.
Serve sauce over your favorite pasta with the meats on the side.