DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: All posts may contain affiliate links. These are kinda cool; they allow me to earn money for all of the time I put into this blog. So feel free to click and find something you'd like to check out! I do my best to make sure that each link is to something I support or personally use.
I don’t know why the idea of homemade pasta sauce is so intimidating. Granted, if you’re thinking of starting with raw tomatoes, you’re signing up for some serious work, indeed, but a good pasta sauce that’s almost-from-scratch doesn’t need to be difficult. A few minutes at the stove and a little help from your crock pot is all it takes to create a pasta sauce that is far better than anything you can buy pre-made.
One of my favorite restaurants in Long Island is Grand Lux Café, features a dish named Sunday Night Pasta. It’s a simple spaghetti in a rich tomato sauce that has the distinct undertone of good red wine, with chunks of tender roast beef, obviously cooked slowly for hours in order to achieve great depth of flavor. The sauce in this post reminds me of that dish at Grand Lux because it has the same depth and undertone created by the addition of red wine. It sports chunks of spicy Italian sausage instead of roast beef, but it, too, is slow-cooked for an intensity of flavor you just can’t get in a jar, best of all it is in a crock pot!!!
This makes enough for 4 people and can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd. Serve over your favorite pasta, with a green salad and some crusty bread.
Sunday Night Pasta Sauce
1 pound spicy Italian sausage links
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
28 ounces chopped tomatoes with juice
14 ounces tomato sauce
6 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine (a Cabernet or Merlot works well)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 pound pasta (I like spaghetti best with this sauce – reminds me of childhood)
Pierce the skins of the sausages all over with a knife, so that the fat will drain out during cooking. In a skillet over high heat, cook the sausages in about one inch of water until all the water is evaporated, then let the sausages brown, turning as needed so that they brown evenly. Remove from pan and cut into 1/4″ slices.
Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender and aromatic.
Combine the remaining ingredients in the crock pot. Stir well. Stir in the sausage, onion, and garlic. Cover and set on low. Cook 6-8 hours. Serve over cooked pasta, topped with freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese.