Alan's Big Pot Spaghetti Sauce

Sauce Ingredients -

Main Alternate #1 Alternate #2
(3) 28 oz cans whole Tomatoes - cut into 3/8 inch pieces (3) 28oz cans chopped Tomatoes (3) 28oz cans petite diced Tomatoes
(1) 16 oz can Tomato Sauce
(1) 12 oz can Tomato Paste
(1) 6oz can large Black Olives - drain liquid
2lb fresh whole Mushrooms 2 large cans of Mushrooms (1-2 pounds) - drain liquid
2 medium Onions
2 Green Peppers
2 lb lean Ground Beef + 1 lb Mild Italian Sausage 2-3 lb Ground Turkey 3lb Zucchini
Spices - see instructions below
(1-4) clove fresh Garlic 1-3 tsp. jar moist Garlic 1/4-1/2 tsp. dry Garlic
(2-3) branches fresh Parsley 2-3 tbsp. dried Parsley
2-3 tbsp. fresh Ground Pepper 1-2 tbsp. pepper
2-5 tbsp. Salt
2-4 tbsp. Red Pepper crushed or flakes 1-2 tbsp smoked Habanera Pepper

Sauce Instructions -
In Large Pot, add - Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste. Break olives into small pieces and add. Heat on medium until starts to bubble, then turn down to low.
Add Spices. Now you're probably wondering which spices to use. Well... every time I make the spaghetti I use different amounts (read as, I don't measure).
The main spices are - Basil (1-2 tbsp), Bay Leaves (2-3), Marjoram (1-2 tbsp), Oregano (2-5 tbsp), dried Rosemary Leaves (1-2 tbsp), ground or crushed Sage (1-2 tbsp), Tarragon leaves (1-2 tbsp), and Thyme (1-2 tbsp).
Please note - I used to make a very spicy spaghetti sauce (before meeting Kathy), hence the large amount of spices. The total is probably at least a quarter cup of spices. You can use purchased pre-mixed spaghetti spice, but it typically isn't as flavorful. Use as little or as much spices as you like. For even more flavor, use fresh spices. I will sometimes change one specific spice to 2x-3x normal amount for a new spaghetti flavor.

Dice -
Dice Onions to 1/8" to 1/4" size and set aside.
Dice Green Peppers to 1/4" size and set aside.
If using fresh Mushrooms, dice to 1/2" size and set aside.
If using fresh garlic, dice or crush and set aside.
If using Zucchini, dice to 1/4" size and set aside.

Saute -
In medium hot skillet, add 1 tablespoon of butter, melt and coat bottom of pan.
Saute onions until just translucent or slightly browned (for smoked flavor), then add to Sauce Pot.
Saute Green Peppers until barely translucent or barely browned (for smoked flavor), then add to Sauce Pot.
If using fresh mushrooms, saute minimum amount of time (not limp).
If using fresh garlic, saute for short period of time, then add to pot.
If you don't want to make meatballs, then brown the meat, drain the fat and then add to Sauce Pot.
If using Zucchini as a meat substitute, saute only until soft (but not translucent), then add to Sauce Pot.

Note - I do NOT clean the skillet between each saute. So that the flavors accumulate.
I do occasionally add more butter between each saute to make sure nothing burns.
As my grandmother frequently said "all good foods start with fat!"

Add remaining Hot Peppers to Pot. Salt and pepper to taste.

Other items that I've added to the recipe at different times and thought(less) processes -
Add whole carrot to sauce, remove when done. This supposed reduces the acid content, but I think it makes the sauce sweeter.
Can/Jar Mushroom liquid for less thick sauce.
Extra can of Tomato Paste for thicker sauce.
Yellow or Red Bell Peppers makes the sauce slightly sweeter.
Whole kernel corn. For that Mexican twist.
Diced and stewed yellow tomatoes. This makes the sauce way less acidic, but is definitely sweeter.
If you use yellow tomatoes, don't use red tomato sauce or paste. Make your own for a different colored sauce.

Finish -
Simmer for a while. I'm told it only takes 20-30 minutes, but I've left it on all day before and I can't tell the difference.
It is especially better the 2nd or 3rd day, but that might be due to the fact that all you have to do is reheat to have another meal.

Meat Ball Ingredients - revised 3/11/18
2 lb lean (at least 80%) Ground Beef
1 lb lean Mild Italian Sausage
1/2 cup Milk
1 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
2 medium Eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 small grated Onion (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Bread crumbs (I typically use toasted wheat bread without crust)
1 tbsp diced Garlic
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Basil
1 tsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes (optional)

Meat Ball Instructions -
Heat oven to 400°F.
In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Shape mixture into 1" to 1 1/2" meatballs. Place in ungreased 13"x9" pan or on rack in broiler pan.
Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes (flipping once) or until no longer pink in center and thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F.

Finally - Cook Spaghetti noodles, drain, put on plate, add sauce, open bottle of wine. Enjoy!!!