2 lbs Italian sausage, casings removed (mild or hot)
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 c water (for a long period of simmering for flavors to meld. If you don't want to simmer it as long, add less)
3 tsp basil
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/4 c red wine (I use the non-alcoholic wine at Kitchen Kneads)
1. In large, heavy stockpot, brown Italian sausage, breaking up as you stir.
2. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
3. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.
4. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
5. Stir well and barely bring to a boil.
6. Stir in red wine.
7. Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour. A longer simmer makes for a better sauce, just be careful not to let it burn!
8. Use sauce for your spaghetti or freeze for later use.
Note - I usually make a full batch, but split it up and freeze about 4 bags of it for use in other recipes, such as lasagna and baked ziti.