Last week our family went of vacation with 3 other families. They aren’t just any old families, but my previous work “husbands”. When we lived in the Seattle area I worked for a major credit card company doing desktop support (and much more). I worked a lot of hours and spent the majority of my life with Gordon, Andy and Tim. Gordon proclaimed one day that he spent more time with me than with his wife, so I must’ve been his “work wife”. Working with these guys for almost 4 years forged strong friendships. After I left the company and moved 300 miles East, we still planned family camping events every summer. Unfortunately, they became few and far between. This year, Gordon’s wife Cary planned a super fun vacation on Lake Chelan here in WA. Everyone was on-board and ready to reconnect for an entire week of fun, sun and maybe a cocktail or two. One of the plans was to choose a different husband to help a wife cook dinner for a night. 4 nights of home cooked meals and 2 nights of eating out or leftovers. It was a brilliant plan and we ate like royalty! For the next 3 days I’ll be blogging the recipes of Kara, Angie and Cary. Each unbelievably amazing.
Today is a recipe for Kara’s World Famous Spaghetti Sauce given to her by her mom, Bonnie. The sauce cooks all day long in the slow cooker and is out of this world! Seriously tasty stuff.
Start with 1 pound of hamburger and 1 pound of sausage. I used Hot Italian, but you could use any type. While on vacation Kara used some of my homemade garlic and red wine sausages. Good stuff!
Break up the meats as best you can, unless you like it a little chunkier. Either way, fry until the meat is cooked through.
Toss in a whole onion that’s been chopped and cook some more.
Add 4 chopped cloves of garlic, or more. I added 6 or 7. That’s how I roll.
Time for some herbs! Kara adds 1 palmful of dried Italian Seasoning and dried oregano combined. I have an abundance of fresh herbs in my garden right now, so I opted to go that route. Whichever you have, add the herb, give it a stir and pour it into the slow cooker.
How do you say it? HER-b or ER-b? I roll the Martha way and say HER-b’s. :)
Do some wrist stretching because you’re about to use the can opener for a bit. To the slow cooker you’ll need to add 4 – 15 oz cans of tomato sauce, 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes and 2 – 6 oz cans of tomato paste. Don’t toss the paste cans, because you’ll need to fill them with red wine and add to the slow cooker as well.
Give it all a quick stir to incorporate and set the slow cooker for low and cook for 8 hours. My slow cooker doesn’t have a temp setting, only time increments. So I set it for 8 hours. Go back and stir occasionally.
Gorgeous luscious sauce. I would like to make a confession right now. The Hubs and I stood over the sauce and ate quite a bit of it by teaspoonfuls. We washed our teaspoons before going back for more. :) It is so wonderful and tasty. Mmm!
Now, for an interesting way to use Kara’s delectable sauce.
Chop up 5 basil leaves and toss in a small bowl.
Add 3 tablespoons of Mizithra cheese to the bowl. This is an Italian sheeps milk cheese that’s readily available at most supermarkets in the specialty cheese section. If you can’t find it, you can use mozzarella instead.
You’ll need a small container of low fat ricotta, or make your own by following my easy recipe for Ricotta. Give it a stir and set aside.
Spray your large muffin tin with cooking spray and line each with a wonton wrapper like so.
Using a small hinged scoop, place 2 scoops of the cheese mixture on top of the wonton wrapper. Alternatively you could just use a teaspoon and drop 2 teaspoons of mixture.
Top with about 1 tablespoon of Kara’s outrageous sauce and repeat with another wonton, cheese and sauce.
For the last later, add the wonton wrapper, 1 dallop of cheese mixture and sauce to cover.
Top with a tablespoon or so of more grated Mizithra cheese. Pop in the oven that’s been preheated to 375 and bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Run a knife around the edges and serve with a big garden salad. DELISH!!
Many thanks to Kara for sharing this recipe with me and allowing me to share it with you!
Kara’s World Famous Spaghetti Sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage, spicy or mild
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 6 oz cans tomato paste
4 15 oz cans tomato sauce, or 2 28 oz cans
12 oz red wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and add the hamburger and sausage. Break up the meat as fine as possible with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic and seasonings and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Add to the slow cooker and turn it on to low.
2 Add the cans of tomato, the red wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to incorporate and place lid on and cook for 8 hours on low. Stir occasionally.
Note: According to Kara “This sauce freezes well so I always make a big pot for quick dinners later. This sauce also makes delicious lasagne.” – Oh yes it does Kara! Yes it does.
2 cups Kara’s World Famous Spaghetti Sauce
18 wonton wrappers
1 15 oz container low-fat ricotta cheese
9 tablespoons Mizithra cheese, grated and separated
5 basil leaves, chopped
1 Preheat the oven to 375.
2 In a small bowl add the ricotta, 3 tablespoons of Mizithra cheese and the chopped basil and stir to combine. Set aside.
3 Spray a large muffin tin with cooking spray and line each with 1 wonton wrapper. Using a small hinged scoop or a teaspoon, drop 2 teaspoons of cheese mixture in each lined cup. Top with 1 heaping tablespoon of sauce. Repeat with wonton wrapper, cheese and sauce. On the last layer (3rd) place 1 teaspoon of cheese on the wonton wrapper, cover with sauce and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Mizithra cheese.
4 Bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Run a sharp knife around each muffin and remove from the pan carefully to a serving platter and serve.
Makes 6 Servings