Whole 30 Day 8 & 9...and "Aye, Aye, Me Hearty!" Spaghetti Sauce recipe

Day 8...which, coincidentally, happened to be my birthday...
menu was SUPER-boring...because I "took the day off" and was SUPER-lazy!

smoothie (same as those other days)

leftover sprouts 'n sausage from dinner on Day 7

hubby fried up two slices of uncured bacon and three eggs for me...nothin' fancy, but I didn't have to cook it, so I was happy!


Day 9

smoothie (same old, same old...but I do love my morning smoothies!)

our furnace went out...
and my phone died. and decided not to take a charge. at all. like d.e.a.d. dead. kaput...
and I really needed a shower...
and school took hours longer than it usually does...
and I skipped lunch.
yep.  oops.

baked spaghetti squash topped with "Aye, Aye, Me Hearty!" Spaghetti Sauce...a hefty portion of sauce, I might add...since I really could just eat the sauce on its own.

I came up with this sauce when my hubs and I did our first Whole 30 back in March/April of 2013.  Then we fell of the wagon, so to speak (read all about that here).  Yet, even last summer as I was cooking up the goodies from our CSA box, something told me my time with Whole 30/clean eating/paleo/healthy eating wasn't done.

One time in particular, our box provided us with an over-abundance of eggplant and tomatoes...and one of my IG friends mentioned a spaghetti sauce recipe that she had--a cook-from-fresh-right-from-scratch sauce recipe.

The resulting sauce was fabulous.  Very smooth, very basic, meatless, but still very substantial.  I do not like pasta sauces that leave you with naked noodles and a puddle of tomato water in the bottom of your dish.  I want thick, hearty goodness that clings to my spaghetti.  This from-scratch sauce fit the bill.  I made several large batches of this basic sauce and froze it to use as the "base" for my meaty, plaeo-friendly, stick-to-your-ribs sauce.

For your "starter," feel free to use whatever canned/jarred sauce you can find that's W30/paleo-friendly.  I know Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce (pictured below in the big, green, 28oz. can) is compliant to both of those diets.  That's what I used last spring, but since I had homemade on hand today, that's what I used this time.  This recipe is open to tweaking of all sorts...consider it a guideline and have fun playing around with different spices, herbs, meats, and veggies.  It turns out different almost every time I make it, depending on what I have on hand.
Also, you should probably note that this makes a VERY large batch.  I like to have plenty for a dinner (for our family of 6), plus for several breakfast/lunch left-over meals.  If you have a smaller family, you may want to freeze some of it, or simply cut the recipe down.

☛"Aye, Me Hearty!" Spaghetti Sauce
120-140 ounces jarred/canned marinara sauce
8 small zucchini, washed, halved lengthwise, and sliced
2 large bell peppers, chopped (today I used one green, one orange)
2 large onions, chopped
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 cans mushroom stems & pieces, drained (I usually use three cans, but only had two on hand today.  Fresh mushrooms would be good, too!...whatever you have on hand!)
1-2 pounds Italian sausage (not in casings, to be browned with veggies and broken apart in the sauce)
1 pound pre-cooked Italian sausage, sliced
2-3 Tbsp. minced garlic
black pepper, salt, Italian seasoning, all to taste

Drizzle a bit of evoo in the bottom of a large stock pot or Dutch oven.  Sauté sausage, onions, and peppers until sausage is no longer pink.  Add zucchini and cook until slightly tender.  
This photo is what my pot looked like at this stage↓↓↓
Add all other ingredients.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer.  Simmer at medium-low for a couple hours.  Taste occasionally, and adjust spices to suit your preferences.

Leftovers tip: for the best breakfast you've ever had, scoop a small ladle of this sauce into your favorite skillet.  Once heated through, toss in several handfuls of baby spinach.  Allow to cook until wilted.  Make small "holes" in this mixture and crack fresh eggs into those spots.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and cover skillet. Cook until eggs are done, flipping only if necessary.  So delicious!

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