Spaghetti Sauce (and Meatballs)

I live in the deep south. My husband’s family definitely has a lot of Cajun blood coursing through their veins. When they eat spaghetti, or red gravy as they call it, it always always always starts with a roux.

Since I’m cutting out flour for the next 30 days I decided to try my hand at spaghetti sauce not using a roux. I had never done so before tonight. The results were pretty much the same, just not as thick.

Ingredients:
1 large yellow onion- diced
4-5 large cloves garlic- minced
Olive oil
1 8oz carton baby bella or button mushrooms- sliced
3-4 green onions- sliced
10-12 fresh basil leaves
2 28oz cans tomato sauce
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Paprika
Onion powder
Garlic powder

Directions:
In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven (I use this one) over medium heat add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds more. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, mushrooms and green onions. I happened to have some fresh basil so I cut it into a chiffonade and added that as well. As for my dried herbs, I eyeball everything. I’d estimate 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp onion and garlic powders, 1 TBS dried basil and 2 TBS dried oregano. It truly is just me eyeballing it though and knowing which flavors I want to stand out. If you prefer basil over oregano, add more basil. I also added salt and black pepper to taste.
Bring everything to a boil, cover and let simmer over low heat. I’ve found there is no wrong amount of time to cook it. I usually start around noon and we try to eat between 5:30-6. but if I’m in a hurry I have started as late as 4 and it’s been fine.
If your family likes meatballs* add them in. If you prefer browned ground meat, do that. I’ve done both with success. Spaghetti sauce is really forgiving!

One thing I did that I should have left out was adding a splash of chicken stock. I am so used to having the roux base and needing just a bit of liquid that out of habit i rinsed out the sauce cans with about 1/3 cup stock. I’ll omit that next time.

Once I added in the meatballs, the sauce had filled the 5qt pot almost entirely. This sauces freezes exceptionally well! I generally have several freezer bags of it on hand.

*I use this recipe for my meatballs and generally use a combination of ground turkey and pork.

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