- 1 - 6 oz. can of Tomato Paste, 2 if you like thick sauces
- 2 - 12 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce
- 1 - 20 oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes
- 1 - 12 oz. Can of Rotel (your choice of mild, spicy or hot)
- 1 - Small can of mushrooms (optional)
- 6 - tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 2 - Medium Onions or 3 Small ones (Chopped)
- 2 - Stalks Celery (Finely sliced)
- 3 - Cloves of Garlic (Finely chopped)
- ½ - Cup Chopped Bell Pepper (Green, Red, Yellow or Mixed) More if you like.
- 2 - Bay Leaves
- 2 - lbs of Italian Sausage (Pork or Turkey)*
*(Or substitute ground beef, meat balls, or shrimp)
- 1 - Table Spoon of mixed Italian Seasonings to Taste (MARJORAM, THYME, ROSEMARY, SAVORY, SAGE, OREGANO, AND BASIL.)
Cut the sausage up in short sections or squeeze out of the casing. Brown in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel or Magnalite pot. *If using turkey sausage, you may have to add some olive oil to help brown. Cast iron pot not recommended for tomato sauces.
Cook off the excess water. Remove the browned meat or use another pot to cook down the vegetables. Heat up 3 table spoons of olive oil and cook the onions, celery, garlic, mushrooms and bell pepper till the onions are clear or very slightly caramelized. Remove the vegetables to side dish.
Cooking the tomato paste: heat up the remaining 3 tbs of olive oil, with a moderate heat, stir in the tomato paste and "cook" the paste. After about 3-5 minutes, add the sauce, the diced tomatoes, and the Rotel one can at a time, cooking all to a smooth blend, maybe 10-15 minutes.
Slowly add water (equal to all cans of tomato products) to blend into the sauce, but not too runny.
Add the meat and the cooked vegetables. Add small amounts of water if the sauce is looking too thick. Simmer for 2-3 hours minimum. OK to serve after 1 hour if real hungry and can't stand it any more.
Serve with your favorite pasta, such as No. 2 Vermicelli.