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Slow Simmered Meat Sauce

From Krisann:

This is a great meat sauce recipe.  The sauce is hearty and comforting.  Best of all the sauce freezes really well.  I usually make a big batch and then enjoy it several times.


  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 (4 ounce) links hot italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/4 lb ground sirloin
  • 1/4 lb ground veal
  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  •  1/4 cup no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can no salt added crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 TBLS chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
  • 3 ounces shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic, sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Place vegetable mixture in a 6 quart slow cooker.  Add sausage, beef, veal and pork to the skillet; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.  Place meat mixture on a double layer of paper towels; drain.  Add meat mixture to slow cooker.  Stir olives and next 6 ingredients (through tomato sauce) into slow cooker.  Cover and cool on LOW 8 hours.  Stir in oregano.

Serve with pasta, top with basil and cheese.


Baked Italian Picnic Sandwich

From Krisann:

This bake and take crowd pleaser comes directly from my sister Kim’s kitchen.  It seems like this time of year I am always looking to bring a sandwich on the boat, to the beach, or to a friend’s house.  I really like making my sandwiches on a long loaf of bread and then slicing to enjoy with lots of friends.   Not to worry if you are going to a location that you won’t have access to an oven.  You can either bake the sandwich at home and then wrap it in foil or even skip the baking part and enjoy it as a cold sandwich.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy!!


  • 1/4 lb each hot capricola, mortadella, black pepper ham and salami
  • Pesto (prepared or homemade, see my pesto pasta salad recipe for homemade pesto recipe)
  • fresh basil (wash and dry basil leaves)
  • Roasted Red Pepper (I used the one in a jar, blot the pepper on paper towel so they are not so wet.  If you are using whole peppers break them into strips to place into sandwich)
  • 1 small thinly sliced Vidalia onion
  • 1 eggplant (remove skin, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • Fresh mozzarella ball (thinly sliced)
  • Loaf of bread (I usually use some sort of unsliced italian loaf)
  • Balsamic glaze (this comes prepared and can be purchased at most grocery stores)


Preheat the broiler to high.  Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with crazy salt and pepper.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from the heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned.  Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.  Set eggplant aside.

Cut the bread lengthwise.  Spread the pesto on the bottom half of the loaf.  Layer your eggplant, onion slices, roasted red peppers, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.  Take the top half of the bread and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.  Add the meats and carefully place the top half of the sandwich on the bottom half.  Place the sandwich on a baking sheet and cook in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked.  Sandwich can be sliced and enjoyed.

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