Home Made Meat Sauce

INGREDIENTS
20 ripe tomatoes
4 tbs butter (Not margarine)
2 large onions minced finely
2 large green peppers minced
8 cloves garlic minced
½ cup chopped fresh basil
½ tsp Italian seasoning (see below)
¼ cup red wine (Optional)
4 stalks celery chopped fine
1 can tomato paste
1 ½ lb ground beef or turkey (Sausage works well if you like it spicy) browned and rinsed.

DIRECTIONS
Wash the tomatoes.
Remove the stems and cut into quarters.
Place tomatoes in a large soup pot.
Cover with water.
Cook on low for about 6 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed.
Beat for 1 minute with a hand mixer.
In a large skillet, cook the onion, pepper and cloves in the butter until the onion starts to soften.
Add skillet mixture to tomatoes along with remaining ingredients.
Simmer on low for about 12 hours, stirring occasionally. (cooking tomatoes brings out the sweetness – the longer you cook them the better they taste.)
Add small amounts of water as needed.
I make mine without the wine (I am allergic to alcohol)
Variations:
· Eliminate the meat and add ¼ cup sliced mushrooms, ½ cup diced carrots, and ½ cup diced zucchini for vegan spaghetti sauce (use olive oil instead of butter)
· Add ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
· Add ½ cup chopped spinach
Use your imagination – that is when cooking becomes an adventure!

Italian seasoning
3 tbs dried basil
3 tbs oregano
3 tbs parsley
1 tbs garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
¼ tsp black pepper
Mix well and keep in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

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