2 lbs Italian sausage, casings removed (mild or hot)
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 cups water (for a long period of simmering for flavors to meld. If you don’t want to simmer it as long, add less)
3 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine (a good cabernet!)
1 lb thin spaghetti
1. In large, heavy stockpot, brown Italian sausage, breaking up as you stir.
2. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
3. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.
4. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
5. Stir well and barely bring to a boil.
6. Stir in red wine.
7. Simmer on low, stirring frequently for about an hour.
8. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
9. Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Notes: I use one pound italian sausage and one pound ground beef. I also cut the water in half and let it either simmer in the crockpot all day after it’s cooked or on the stove for at least 2 1/2 hours.