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This makes a very large batch, so be sure to have plenty of freezer containers on hand to store the leftovers.  Will keep in the freezer for up to one year.

Main ingredients:

  • 28-oz can of tomato sauce
  • 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 14-oz can of tomato paste
  • ketchup, several glubs
  • worcestershire, several glubs
  • 2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained (sometimes i will mix in a little sausage)
  • 1 small onion, diced and browned

Seasoning:

  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Sugar (not too much — should not be overtly sweet)
  • Bay leaves (three, remove before serving)
  • If I have fresh rosemary, I will add a few sprigs and remove before serving
  • Red wine (perhaps half a cup)
  • Vodka (perhaps a quarter cup)

Cook everything in a very large pot for three to three and a half hours.  In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add 10-12 cloves (yes, about a whole head) of garlic and a generous portion of sliced mushrooms.

I made a batch this afternoon — it’s cool and rainy in Atlanta.

We usually serve this over spaghettini (aka thin spaghetti) and pair with garlic bread and a salad.  For the garlic bread, I like to prepare a dipping sauce with half melted butter and half olive oil with a few cloves of crushed garlic mixed in.  For the salad, we usually do Caesar or vinaigrette, but today I was in the mood for blue cheese — and I just found a great recipe on line:

  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mash blue cheese and buttermilk together with a fork until mixture resembles large-curd cottage cheese. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and garlic powder until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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