Homemade Spaghetti Sauce in the Crockpot

We have a small garden in our backyard, as we always have – but we have never really had much luck at growing tomatoes…but we would have loads of squash & zucchini.  This year my garden has done the exact opposite.  Every morning, I bring in a basket full of tomatoes…but my squash have given me just a couple pretty ones than died off.  I have been so overrun with tomatoes, and I have made so much spaghetti sauce this year that I feel like I should open up a spaghetti stand in my front yard.  

Making the sauce has been so easy with the help of my trusty crockpot.  This is so easy, that I can’t justify calling it a recipe because it’s just not.  More of a technique than anything.  

Chop up however many tomatoes that you have & throw them in the slowcooker.  (If you want them skinless, you should blanch them first to easily peel them. I like mine with skin)  Dice up celery, onions, & bell pepper equal to a 1/3 of the portion of tomatoes that you have.  Next is the garlic.  Sometimes I chop it up & add it raw…and sometimes I roast whole gloves & squeeze that in.  It all just comes down to how much time I have to spend on it.  I like a LOT of garlic.  Gotta ward off those vampires, ya know?  Add in a little salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, & grated Parmesan cheese.  

Set your crockpot on low, & cook for about 3 hours.  A little under or a little over won’t hurt anything.  

Pour your tomato mixture into a food processor or blender a little at a time to puree to the consistency that you desire.  Add the sauce back to the crockpot, and cook on low for an additional 3-5 hours.  If you would like to add some cooked meat, now is the time to do it.  You can use ground beef, Italian sausage, or a mixture of both.  I like meat in mine, but if I am making the sauce for the freezer, I hold off on that until I am ready to use it.  It’s all up to you though. 

Make sure you taste it, and see if you want to add any additional spices to it.  If you would like to thicken it up, add tomato paste until it is the consistency that you want.  If you are freezing it & not serving it right up, save that tomato paste til you are ready to serve it because it will thin out some upon being thawed.