Freezer Spaghetti Sauce and My Garden!

For the first time EVER this whole garden thing seems to be working out for me!

I know I’ve mentioned it a few times and shown you all my zucchini goodness, but it’s even better than that!  I’ve got tomato goodness too!

I can’t for the life of me find any before pictures of the space where I dug, but, trust me, it was a bear.  There was already a landscaping island there from the previous owners, but it wasn’t too pretty.  So I put a good ole free ad up on Craigslist for the 3 butterfly bushes that were there, and within an hour some guy showed up, shovel in hand, and started digging them out for me. (yes, my husband was home. He doesn’t like to dig either.)

That was the easy part. Craigslist I can handle.  A shovel in my hand?? Not so much.  It was a royal pain in my tushy. And this pain lasted every night for about 2 weeks. I dug and dug and then dug some more.  It was unreal.  This was something I wanted, so I promised my husband that I would do it myself.  I had to call him in for the random chain…

But he dug SO far down and there was no end in sight, so the chain ended up getting buried anyways!

Finally I had everything cleared out and my patch all squared off and then we rented a rototiller and luckily my husband stepped up and did that for me. And then it was time to plant!

Honestly, this is unbelievably exciting to me!  I can’t even get over that I can be making dinner and just pop out back and grab some food!  That’s crazy!

It hasn’t been a complete success and there are definitely some things I’m going to change next year (maybe not plant 18 tomato plants since they ALL survived!), but it’s so cool!

So last night I picked 2 HUGE bowls full of tomatoes and tried my hand at homemade spaghetti sauce!  I looked up a couple recipes online and ended up just going with a combination of things and what flavors I know our family loves.  It is delicious!

Last night I chopped up all the onions and garlic and put it in the crockpot to simmer for about an hour. Then I peeled and chopped all my tomatoes and threw that and the rest of the ingredients in.

Look closer… do you see all that chunky goodness?

Then I popped it all in the fridge since it was already pretty late.  This morning I turned it on and started the tomatoes cooking.  About 4 hours later on low, this is what we had.

All 4 of us tasted it and it got rave reviews!  And guess what, people?? I actually wrote down what I was including as I went along!  An actual recipe!  Woot woot!!

Spaghetti Sauce
5 onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced (we like garlic, though, so add less if you don’t!)
2-4 tbsp. vegetable oil
Throw that in your crockpot on low heat until onion is transparent.
Then add the following and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, stirring every hour or so:
16 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. dried basil
3 tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
30 oz. tomato paste
After it’s cooled, divide into quart size freezer containers.  Store in freezer.

I put about 1- 1 1/2 cups of sauce in each of our baggies for our family of 4.  That got me 10 baggies of spaghetti sauce for this fall/winter.

One thing I do when I’m freezing a sauce in a bag, is lay them flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they’re frozen solid. Then you can remove the cookie sheet and they stack much nicer until you’re ready to use them!

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Natalie

Natalie

Hi, I'm Natalie and I like to move slowly (like a turtle, if you will)! I daydream about minivans, painting walls and eating fudge with a spoon. Welcome to my little computer home where I share my family's adventures as we live life from the slow lane!
Natalie
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Comments

  1. Gallamore West says:

    Yum!!! This is my DREAM… to plant a garden that’s good enough that I can just pick something out of the garden for dinner. Your spaghetti sauce looks amazing!!
    Laurie :)

  2. @KristineOh geez, I’m not going to have any kind of a good answer for you! I have all different types of tomatoes in my garden, so I just used a whole mess of them. I’m going to guess maybe 35-50 but that’s probably with a lot of roma or cherry tomatoes thrown in.

  3. @StephYou sound like my son! He had all kinds of wild stories he was coming up with! A neighbor who has been here for awhile told us that our house was built on the site of an old farm so they wonder if it was something to hold livestock with or equipment?? I don’t know but it’s buried for now!

  4. I can’t help but wonder just how big is the treasure chest attached to that chain…..

    (Yes. I AM a big fan of mysteries, fairy tales, and pirate movies!)

  5. I am so hitting up the farmers market this weekend to make this! How many tomatoes did you end up using?

  6. What a great feeling of picking food from the backyard for your family!! I only planted a few tomato plants and am just starting to get some–(late huh,,,?)but the basil is HUGE. I’ll be drying that for the winter and crushing it. Awesome job!

  7. AHHH!!! Perfect, I have been looking for a good tomato recipe! I planted 20 tomato plants and have thusfar canned 16 cans of salsa. Freezer spaghetti sauce is next!

  8. First off that sauce looks so delicious. Like I could eat it with a spoon, right out of the bag, delicious.

    Secondly, your garden looks great. We had zero luck this year with ours. It was either way to hot and humid or it was constantly down pouring [we had about a 2-week straight stint of just non stop heavy rain and it totally wrecked my plants].

    Lastly, Happy Wednesday :-D

  9. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you will want to put a twitter icon to your site. Just marked down this site, however I had to make this by hand. Just my $.02 :)

    My blog:
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  10. This looks so yummy! I love that you made it in the crock pot, okay, I am inspired to get serious on a garden next year. Generally I kill every garden I have tried, but I have been triing to container garden, maybe the key is to put it in the ground and just go crazy and plants lots of everything!

  11. I have an Italian friend, like real Italian as in her family lives in the actual country of Italy, and she told me that they use shredded carrots in all their tomato-y dishes instead of sugar. So I wonder if you could shred some carrots, throw them in with the onions and then eliminate the sugar. Just an idea. 1/4 cup isn’t a lot but none is even better!

  12. Awesome job on your garden, I wish I could even attempt to do that, making the sauce was such a money saver, and looks and sounds yummy.

  13. No idea why my link went to you tube, to funny.

  14. Gallamore West says:

    How funny that we’re both working on similar shell projects!! Great minds think alike :) I tried to click to respond to your email, but it doesn’t seem to be linked to go to your email {noreply blogger thingy came up} so I’m commenting here. So, to make this not completely off topic even though I already commented on it… your spaghetti sauce looks soooo yummy!! Have a great weekend! :)

  15. I have tried over the years to make spaghetti sauce with absolutely no success. I came across your blog from your link off the shabby nest. I decided, oh once more with feeling, since I had so many garden tomatoes. All’s I can say is THANK YOU!!!!!! I made it today and it is absolutely wonderful! It is so thick the wooden spoon is standing straight up in the pot, while it is cooling!!! AWESOME!!! You are my hero!

  16. The sauce came out PERFECT!!! I used olive oil instead of the veg oil and did not peel the tomatoes. Peeling the tomatoes is way too ambitions for me Natalie! I also used a big pot instead of the crockpot and set it on simmer for probably a good 5 hours. I will have to try the suggestion of carrots instead of sugar next time. Absolutely awesome recipe Natalie!

  17. looks delish!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  18. Sounds great!

  19. Hey there! I saw this post and knew I wanted to try this. Mine turned out AWESOME! Soo delicious! I posted my link below if you wanna check it out, thanks for posting the great recipe!

    http://mydarlingdays.blogspot.com/2011/09/homemade-pasta-sauce.html

  20. I love this recipe! Used up the rest of my tomatoes from the miraculous garden yesterday. (I think I used appox. 40 tomatoes.) Added some meatballs for dinner tonight. YUM!!
    I love that book you recommended earlier this summer. Super recipes and ideas. Thanks!!

  21. An italian family I know puts pork ribs in their sauce while it simmers and then pulls them all out of the sauce and the flavour of the ribs is in the sauce and the ribs are cooked for another meal!!! very YUM!

  22. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is a keeper! Only thing I changed is I did not peel tomatoes (Roma) and cooked for closer to 8 hours. Very thick and flavorful. I’ll be making another batch today. Thanks for sharing!

  23. This is my first time at homemade sauce! It smells delicious in my kitchen right now. I plan on canning this batch. I’m getting a head start on Christmas and I think this will be one of the gifts. I’m feeling the homemade love for gifts this year. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  24. I actually have a garden question (my sauce is currently in the crock :)), which plants did you put the wire cylinder/cone things over? and did the weight of the plants cause them to buckle? This year I staked my tomatoes, but I don’t feel like that worked out so well, and my cucumber vines are EVERYWHERE. I’d love your feedback :)

    • For most tomato plants something sturdier than the “tornado”-type cages you see at most stores is necessary. We made our own 5′ round cages out of welded wire fence held with hog rings then staked with t-posts. I use our old tornado ones for my pepper plants because they tend to fall over too. If you already have the small cages, you could stake them with t-posts or smaller electric fence posts to help keep them upright. Trying to buy bush varieties of regular tomatoes helps, but if you like Romas or Amish Paste they will get over 6′ tall & will need at least a t-post (put in when you plant not later or you risk breaking the roots) for staking the plant & tying as it grows with store bought ties or strips of pantyhose.
      As for cucumbers vining everywhere, I trellis mine because I hate bending over that far to hunt for them. I use a 16′ cattle panel running north & south, leaning just slightly on t-posts & wired on…one in the middle, one on each end. Then plant the seeds at the base of the panel along the east side & train the cukes to climb. Cukes can be picked from both sides. This could be done on a much smaller scale with just a section of fence, chain link, a gate, etc…anything the plants can be wove through to get them up off the ground. Growing vertically works great for gardeners with small spaces.
      Hope there’s something here to help you in your garden.

  25. Did you Blanche the tomatoes first to peel?

  26. I canned my sauce, instead of freezing it. Didn’t pressure cook it, but boiled the lids, used hot jars, and the sauce was fresh from the crock pot so nice and hot. Do you suppose this will be ok?? I have 4 gallons of tomatoes I need to cook up tomorrow & planned on more of this sauce.

    Thanks :)

  27. Amazing is all my family had to say. Used fresh Basil instead of dried. Added a little crushed red pepper. It’s a keeper!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I don’t know how many sauce recipes before I found something we both really loved. I found THIS recipe from “A Turtle’s Life for Me,” and tweaked it just a little bit to fit our [...]

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