One of the first family recipes I was introduced to from my husband’s family was this healthy Italian pasta sauce. My husband’s aunt and uncle lived in Italy for several years and they shared the recipe with mother-in-law years ago. My husband grew up eating this and when we were first married, he made it all the time.
I am not a great cook, and I didn’t think I could ever make this pasta sauce, but I was forced to learn when some of the teenage girls I worked with at church asked me to teach them. I still remember how nervous I was teaching the girls how to cook when I was a newlywed and could barely cook myself! We made it through the cooking session, the sauce turned out great and I have been making and sharing this recipe ever since.
My family loves pairing the healthy Italian pasta sauce with bow tie pasta. My personal favorite is to make “noodles” out of sweet potatoes. This sauce is healthy, easy to make, tastes awesome and freezes well, too.
Now, on to the recipe. Enjoy!
- 2-3 carrots , chopped in food processor
- 2-3 celery stalks , chopped in food processor
- 2-3 pieces garlic , chopped in food processor
- 1 lb Italian sausage links (pork or chicken)
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 15 ounce cans Italian tomatoes (put the tomatoes in the food processor for a few seconds to make smooth; this saves time trying to crush later.)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- Cover bottom of a heavy saucepan with the olive oil. Heat oil on stove and add carrots, celery and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes until tender, but not mushy, stirring constantly.
- In a separate pan, brown pieces of Italian sausage. Cook as much as you like in the sauce.
- After vegetables are tender, add tomato sauce, Italian tomatoes, oregano and basil to pan. Add sausage.
- Cook on a very low heat for at least 2 hours (the longer the better). Stir occasionally.
- I have made the sauce in the morning and put it in the crock pot for the rest of the day. This works great if you are busy around dinnertime, but I think the flavor is better when cooked on the stove top.
- To freeze, allow sauce to cool and place in freezer safe containers. (A double batch gives my family of six 4 meals.) To defrost, put in refrigerator overnight or defrost in microwave.