Spaghetti Sauce

This is neither Kosher nor vegetarian, but it could be made without the sausage or the addition of something like soy protein instead to duplicate the texture. Also, omit the jarred sauce as most contain animal fats along with a lot of sugar.

1 lb. Johnsonville Mild Ground Sausage
1 Medium Onion
Half Red Bell Pepper
1 Medium Carrot
1 T minced Garlic (I keep jarred in the fridge, but whole fresh cloves are best)
Half rib Celery from the heart
Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine
1 T sugar, honey or a few T prepared apple sauce
1 T tomato paste or a few T jarred tomato sauce or leftover Spaghetti Sauce
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
Can also use green bell pepper and/or mushrooms
Oregano, Rosemary, Basil, Fennel, Red Pepper Flakes

In a large sauce pan, wok or fry pan, fry sausage over medium breaking it up as it cooks until almost all pink is gone.
Meanwhile, dice the pepper and onion and peel and shred the carrot with a cheese grater or food processor.
With slotted spoon, scoop out sausage into a large bowl (about one and half quart size), leaving grease in the pan and the heat on.
Add vegetables to the pan. Cook until onion is translucent and caramelized. Dice celery, toss that in along with garlic and mushrooms if using. Cook for two minutes and no more or the garlic will start to burn.
Add can tomato sauce and half can water. Bring to a low boil, turn temperature to low. Add good splash wine or vinegar, paste and sweetener. Add about 1 T dried Oregano, 1 t dried Rosemary, 1 t dried Basil, stir to combine. Add half the sausage back in. If not using the sausage, may want to add some crushed dried fennel to mimic the flavor. Cook to combine flavors, a few minutes or more. If you want to add a little kick, crush a few red pepper flakes near the end.
Take all your veggie scraps and put in the bag in the freezer for making soup stock OR toss into the compost. Freeze the rest of the sausage and keep for another use. OR multiply all the other ingredients and make one bigger batch of sauce.

I used this to make Stuffed Manicotti
1 lb. mozzarella part skim, shredded
1 lb. ricotta, part skim
Half cup grated Parmesan cheese
Half lb. frozen spinach, defrosted
1 t. garlic powder
Half c. milk (1-2% works great)
In a large mixing bowl, add milk and garlic to spinach. Add ricotta, and most of the other cheeses, reserving some for topping the casserole.
Cook manicotti according to directions. Cool to handling temperature.
In a glass rectangular casserole pan, pour 1 t. olive or vegetable oil, spread around. Add half cup or more of Spaghetti Sauce. Fill each manicotti with some of the cheese and spinach mixture and place in pan. Pour sauce over pasta as desired and top with reserved mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake, covered with foil for about 30 minutes at 350. Remove foil and back 10 minutes more.
Makes 8 – 12 manicotti depending on how stuffed they are filled.
Filling can also be used to make lasagna, alternating layers of sauce with cheese filling, using 1 c milk instead of just a half and goes together faster than filling manicotti.

Served with a green or garden salad and a crusty bread, will feed six easily, fewer people if some of those are teenagers. 
I have no idea how many calories or grams of anything this is per serving. Probably a lot. I don't make it often, so it's worth the splurge. Can be made ahead, put plastic wrap between the pan and the foil or the sauce will start to "eat" the aluminum and refrigerate up to 48 hours. Add 15 minutes to baking time and remember to remove the plastic first. 


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