Spaghetti Sauce in Slow Cooker

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions chopped
¼ pound bulk Italian sausage
1-pound ground beef
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon white sugar

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions and Italian sausage until the sausage is browned, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the sausage and onions to a slow cooker. In the same skillet, cook and stir the ground beef, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and marjoram, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ground beef into the slow cooker.
Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, thyme, basil, oregano, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
Set the cooker on low and cook the sauce for 8 hours. About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the sugar.

Slow Cooker Marinara

2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 medium yellow onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 whole bay leaves
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cut the onion into a small dice and mince the garlic (or use pre-minced garlic from a jar). Place both in the slow cooker. Also add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, bay leaves, basil, oregano, and freshly cracked pepper. Stir well to combine. If your slow cooker tends to lose moisture and dry things out, add 1/2 to 1 cup of water as well.

Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.

Remove the lid on the slow cooker, stir the sauce, and remove the bay leaves. Season with salt to taste (I added about 1 tsp). Enjoy over your favorite pasta!

Italian Tomato Sauce


⅓ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 crushed garlic cloves
¾ cup chopped onion (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano, divided, or ½ teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, divided, or ½ tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh chopped mint, divided
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes or two quarts of freshly canned garden tomatoes
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1.Before you begin, pour your two cans of tomatoes into a bowl and crush with your hand. Don’t break them up too small, you want large chunks.
2.In a large heavy bottomed pot with a lid, on a burner with no flame, pour in olive oil and add red pepper flakes, garlic, onion, most of the oregano, basil and mint (save a little bit of each for the end), sugar salt and pepper. Turn on the burner and slowly bring up to hot. When the onions and garlic start to cook, stir and heat for five minutes.
3.Remove the pot from the burner and place a heat diffuser over the burner. Place the pot over the heat diffuser and add the tomatoes. Turn burner to medium high and stir until they start to boil. Then reduce to simmer, partially cover and simmer 90 minutes.
4.After 90 minutes, remove from heat and add the reserved herbs and Parmesan cheese. Add the butter to round out the flavors. Stir again and serve.

The old saying about the sauce tasting better the next day reheated is true. It gives the flavors a chance to blend and mellow out. I also like to add 1 cup of Chianti.

Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce

Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounce)
1 can tomato sauce (8 ounce)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (can be omitted if you prefer)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar (optional – can leave out, or use more or less – 1 teaspoon is what I use)


1. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Stir in tomato products, oregano, rosemary, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Taste sauce and if desired, add sugar. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until it is thickened up a bit. Use as desired.

Romesco Sauce



2 medium red bell peppers, halved and cored, ( or buy roasted peppers)
2 plum tomatoes- halved
1/2 onion, big sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 -2 T Olive oil
1-2 dried casabel chili peppers (optional) re-hydrated (pour boiling water over and let soak 30 min or overnight.)
1/2 cup blanched almonds (or use half hazelnuts) or smoked almonds or roasted almonds.
2 T tahini paste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or less if using salted almonds
fresh cracked pepper


Preheat oven to 425 F. Place the first four ingredients on a parchment lined sheet pan, tomatoes and peppers with skin side up. Drizzle all with olive oil and roast in the oven turning everything over at 20 minutes. Remove garlic when tender about 30 minutes. Continue roasting peppers, tomatoes and onions until lightly blackened, about 40-50 minutes total.

Tzatziki Sauce


2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cups diced cucumber
1/2 cup fresh dill minced
2 teaspoons fresh mint minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Chill before serving.

Quick Tomato Sauce


1⁄4 cup onion, grated
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1⁄4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup grated onion. Sauté 2 minutes. Add oregano and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook with stirring 3 minutes until onions begin to brown. Add crushed garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and sugar. Turn heat to high and cook with stirring until simmering. Turn heat to medium low. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.

Cuban Mojo Criollo


6 to 8 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium-size onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour orange juice or 1/4 cup sweet orange juice and 1/8 cup lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil

Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, crush the garlic with the salt to form a thick paste. In a mixing bowl, combine the garlic paste, onion, and juice, and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer. Minutes before you are ready to serve the mojo, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium-size pan until it is very hot, add the garlic mixture (do this quickly because it will splatter), stir, and serve immediately. To reheat, simmer over low heat until heated through, 6 to 8 minutes. The sauce keeps several weeks refrigerated.

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island Dressing

Sweet with a little bit of tang, this dressing will liven up any salad.

1 teaspoon white onion
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 dash black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well. Place dressing in a covered container and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally, so that the sugar dissolves and the flavors blend.

Original recipe

Mojo Criollo (Garlic Sauce)

Mojo Criollo

1 full head of garlic – about 12 cloves (peeled, minced & crushed)
1 cup olive oil
1 cup naranja agria (sour orange juice)*
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

*naranja agria, the juice from Seville oranges, can be found in Hispanic food stores or in the international foods aisle of many supermarkets. If you aren’t able to find it in your local store, you can make a good substitute from equal parts orange juice and lime juice (½ cup sweet orange juice and ½ cup lime juice).


1. Finely chop the garlic cloves.
2. Add the salt and pepper and mash everything together using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of your knife blade.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it is fragrant.
4. Add the garlic mixture and cook just until the garlic is soft; be careful not to burn it.
5. Add sour orange juice, stir and cook just until thoroughly heated.
6. Store mojo criollo in a container with a tight-fitting lid. It can be refrigerated for a few days.

PS: I like to add some finely sliced onions.