23 Aug 2019
Happy day to everybody! For those of you who have been here before, you know that I have a love affair with my slow cooker. If I can make a recipe in my slow cooker, I love it. If I can’t, I figure out a way that I can. In my efforts to be more frugal and eat more food from scratch, I’ve been experimenting with stocks and sauces that I can make in my slow cooker.
The hardest (or most annoying) part of this recipe is opening all of the cans of tomato paste. For some reason, I can’t find cans any larger than 6 ounces. Here’s what you need:
- 1 large can (6 pounds, 9 ounces) tomato sauce
- 10 (6 oz) cans of tomato paste
- 8 cans of water (using the tomato paste cans)
- 12 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP oregano
- 2 TBSP thyme
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 4 TBSP basil
- Olive oil
- Onion (optional)
First, saute the garlic and onion (if you choose) in the olive oil. I don’t ever measure how much olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. I rarely mince garlic (bad, I know) but purchase the large containers of it from Sam’s Club. We go through minced garlic pretty quickly around here.
While that is cooking, dump the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water into the slow cooker. This will create a thicker sauce. If you want to thin out your sauce a little bit more, add more water until it is the right consistency for you. Stir until combined.
Once the onions and garlic are finished, add those to the slow cooker and stir. Finish by adding your spices, with salt and pepper to taste. Turn on low. Mine takes about five hours until it is fully cooked. Bring the sauce to room temperature and then separate into quart size freezer bags. Each bag holds approximately 3 cups of sauce and seems to be enough for one meal.
The easiest way to package the sauce (or any liquid for that matter) is to place the freezer bag into a round container. I have a few leftovers (emptied and washed of course) formula containers that I use for such an event. I put 3 cups of sauce into the bag, suck out as much air as possible, and seal. I then lay them all flat on a small cookie sheet and freeze them. After they’ve been frozen solid, I transfer them to our larger freezer for long storage. One batch will take us through an entire month.