Crockin' on!

 
I've been on a slow cooker roll here lately!  It seems that after I griped about the lack of things to prepare in my pot, recipes started jumping out at me left and right and from behind bushes.  And I recently came into possession of my 92-year-old grandmother's Crock-Pot and I'm totally digging the whole retro vibe of it.  I also scored her 1960's (I think) era combination slow cooker/fryer  called   Hy-Fry which looks just like this one.  It's never been used and she still had the original instruction booklet where she had penciled the date of December 25, 1974 which means she got it as a Christmas gift when I was 3 years old.  Call me sappy, but I'm hugely sentimental about things like that. 


I found a marinara recipe on Budget Bytes, which is a neat site that features really great recipes that are budget friendly.  Beth estimates this recipe costs a little over $5 to prepare - of course that's going to depend on prices in your geographic area and other variables like coupons, sale prices, etc. but even if it's a few cents more, it's still a pretty sweet deal.

I love having my freezer stocked with things that I can pull out last minute, thaw and have a good home cooked meal on the table without much effort at all and this fits the bill perfectly.  After the sauce cools, portion it up into 1/2 cup or 1 cup servings and freeze.  In addition to serving over pasta, this makes a great marinara for pizza (try this one topped with bacon, cheese and pepperoni or throw your favorite veggies on this homemade pizza dough.)

Slow Cooker Marinara
approximately 13 servings (1/2 cup)

Printable Recipe

2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1/2 Tablespoon garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to your slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  When done, stir the sauce and remove the bay leaves.  Season with more salt and pepper if needed. 

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