Ollie's Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce is a very personal thing. I don't use a recipe and I don't measure my ingredients. I go by feel (it "feels" right!), look and taste. But I'll try to share my method of making spaghetti sauce with you. This sauce is a sweetish yet tangy sauce that my family loves. The sweetness comes from the sugar I add, the tang from the sausage meat. You can make it even tangier by adding a spicy sausage meat if you like.

I use ground turkey instead of beef (2 packages) and sweet Italian sausage (3 links) taken out of the casing, as my meat base. Fry the turkey and sausage on medium heat until no pink is showing, break into small pieces, drain and put in the slow cooker.

For my "extras" I dice or chop onions (2 small), 1 large stalk of celery, a package of fresh sliced mushrooms, 1 large bell pepper or combination of peppers - red, yellow or orange. I don't use green pepper as the longer green pepper simmers, the more bitter it becomes! I also add one chunked zuchinni but you can't add that until a couple of hours before the sauce is ready or it goes watery and mushy.

After your meat is browned and removed from the fat and liquid, you are going to saute the onions, celery and peppers. Don't saute the mushrooms!

Now take about 4 cloves of garlic and chop finely. You can mince it or put it through a garlic press if you prefer, but I like the sweetish flavour of the garlic when it is in tiny pieces (not minced).

I also use fresh thyme from my herb garden - at least 2 fairly large branches. I didn't grow bay leaves this year so can't take those fresh from the garden and have to use store-bought. You need 2 medium size bay leaves.

Okay you have sauted the onions, peppers and celery. Drain them and add to the crock pot of browned meat. Toss in the diced garlic, the thyme (stip it off the branches first!) and the bay leaves. Now add 1 small can of diced tomatoes. I like the ones with olive oil and garlic, also the ones with Italian seasoning. It's a personal choice. Sometimes I use a small can of chunky Italian sauce as well.

Then pour white wine into the can of sauce, about 1/3 full, swish it around to get out all the bits left in the can and pour it into the meat.

Last, add salt and pepper to taste, 1 heaping tsp of Fine Herbes (it's available in the cooking section of most grocery stores) and 1 tbps of Demarara Sugar. That's a brown sugar, you can't use white, it doesn't give the same sweetish flavour. If you can't find Demarara, you can use Sugar in the Raw, your last choice is ordinary brown sugar.

If your sauce seems too thick, add more wine. Not enough tomato? Add another small can, or 1/2 a can! This is where you have to "feel" or sense what is right.

Turn your slow cooker on to low heat and let it cook for 7 or more hours. About 2 hours before the sauce is done, add the chopped zuchinni.

Make spaghetti pasta as directed on the package, pour sauce over it (remove bay leaves first!) and add freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a Caesar Salad. Yummy!!!


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