Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Roasted Garlic Tomato & Meat Spaghetti: CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE

Spaghetti with Red Sauce
Roasted Garlic Tomato & Meat Spaghetti

We've passed the half way mark and we are onto challenge #7 of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE, if you haven't heard of this yet, then you MUST READ ALL ABOUT IT! This month is Spaghetti with some type of Red Sauce, I can't wait to explore all the recipes below and try out a few new ones. My family LOVES spaghetti and we could have it once a week and with all the new ideas below we would never have to have the same sauce twice. If you missed last month's Chocolate Cake Challenge, you are for sure missing out on a little bit of heaven if you don't go back and check it out.


Wondering what the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE is? Want to join the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE? If so, we'd love to have you. Just click on the button above or the tab and fill out the form. You will then be sent an email with all the details. Only participants of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE will be able to have their recipes linked-up, so if you missed this month please come join us for next month when we will be searching for the ULTIMATE Homemade Blueberry Muffin.

Let's move on to the spaghetti recipe I picked. This recipe comes from For Such a Time as This, she was actually part of another challenge I participate in, Secret Recipe Club, but I actually came across this post on Pinterest. Ya all know how I LOVE Pinterest! I can not tell you enough, to run not walk over there and join! It's the best thing since sliced bread (hehe... hehe... I am not that old, but love that saying!) :-) If you need an invite to Pinterest feel free to leave your email address in the comments and I will send you an invite. You MUST be invited to join and requesting one takes FOR-EVER!

Really, let's talk about the recipe now! I made this recipe on one of my freezer cooking days. The large pot of sauce not only feed my family a delicious Spaghetti dinner that evening, but also I was able to freeze a few extra ziploc baggies for other meals like Homemade Pizzas, Lasagna, Goulash and so much more. This recipe was originally for canning and since I have NO IDEA how to can (although I would love to learn); I made this recipe and stored the extra in ziploc bags in the freezer.

Here are a few quick tips and tricks for freezer storing. Use a tall glass and fold over your ziploc bag (easiest, simplest and best trick around for no-mess baggies), then load up your baggie and seal. I always double bag anything liquid. Using ziploc bags saves a ton of space in the freezer and for the few cents you waste on a baggie, it saves a ton of money and time because you are buying bulk and cooking in bulk. I bagged up all of the left over sauce and I also bagged up some of the plain meat mixture (recipe below). The extra meat we use for tacos, sloppy joes, or toppings for a homemade pizza. The ideas are endless.

The tomato sauce recipe was the hardest part. I have never in my life peeled tomatoes. I wanted to follow the recipe exactly, so I did as it says. I am not sure if it would of came out as nice without this step, but I was happy with the end result.

Roasted Garlic Tomato & Meat Spaghetti
adapted by me, found at For Such a Time as This;
originally from Better Homes and Garden Canning Magazine

4 cloves of garlic (more if you'd like)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, or green), halved and seeded
35 Roma tomatoes
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp dried herbs (basil, parsley and Italian Seasoning)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel away the dry outer layer of the garlic bulbs and cut the tops of the bulbs. Cut peppers and remove seeds. Place both the garlic and the peppers on a a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 40 minutes.

Let garlic and peppers cool for about 20 minutes. Then place the garlic, peppers and peeled tomatoes into a food processor. This took about 3 or 4 batches to get all 35 tomatoes and the rest of the stuffed purred. Leave a little bit chunky, as much as you wish.

Place the tomato mixture into a dutch oven or large sauce pot on the stove over medium high heat.  Add in the brown sugar, salt, vinegar, black pepper, and herbs. Cook for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. While this is cooking you can begin the meat mixture below and then add to the pot as soon the meat is cooked.

Meat Mixture

2 lbs of hamburger meat
1/4 cup diced onion
4 carrots, shredded (love my Kitchen Aid for this part)
4 to 6 mushrooms, finely diced
parsley, fresh or dried

Cook all of the above ingredients in a sauce pan on the stove top, until meat is cooked all the way through. Drain excess oil and then we like to pulse our meat a few times in a food processor, so we don;t have big chunks. This is my favorite trick I learned long ago, when I would feed my kids spaghetti and then they would return their bowls with big chunks of meat in the bottom of the bowl. I've done it this way for so long, we all just prefer it this way now (except the hubby).

Click on your favorite recipes to cast your vote!
My recipe is #1 (please make sure to click on #1)
Roasted Garlic Tomato & Meat Spaghetti


  1. Yum! We like our meat separate, as in meatballs, but your sauce sure looks yummy!

  2. I love roasted garlic. Sounds terrific!

  3. Delicious Tina! I could eat this everyday!

  4. I love that it has carrots in it! Great recipe!

  5. Looks like an awesome recipe. Can you ever have enough? C:

    Looking forward to seeing everyone else' when the linky goes live.

  6. That looks delicious! I love the idea of roasted garlic and peppers! I will have to keep that in mind! I can't see what else is to come!

  7. I love the flavors here, and really love the idea of stashing some away in the freezer. Much better than a premade frozen meal from the store.

    I hope you'll stop by an visit my CCC - Spaghetti Pie


  8. Anything with roasted garlic wins with me! Great job!

  9. You do know, don't you, that the trick to "peeling" tomatoes is to dunk them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then dunk them into ice water for 30 seconds. Then the peels slip right off. Oh so easy and a LOT less time-consuming

    I offer this tip because in your first tomato photo, it looks like you've taken a knife and peeled them like you would a potato or apple - the "peelings" are thick-looking.

  10. I tried to reply to your email but it kept bouncing back. My post is up now! I forgot to press the Publish Button again!

  11. I always struggle with keeping the plastic bags upright, it never occured to me to put them in a cup like that- brilliant! Thanks for the great idea.

  12. Yum! I can't wait to see what you think about my entry! (#21) Can't wait for next month....I just made a fabulous batch of blueberry muffins last night....except they're my aunt's recipe....if only she had a blog! :-)

  13. Tina that sauce looks divine!!! Can't wait to try making my own homemade sauce

  14. Great idea with the meat, wish I had thought of that when my kids were little. Looks yummy! #18

  15. I'm not sure why but whenever I try to reply to your emails, it bounces back. Anyway, the Blog name has been added. Thanks!

  16. Yummy, and enough for the freezer for another meal...we all do so many dishes..and so much time in the kitchen andi

  17. Hi Tina, Your recipe looks so good. This was a great challenge and there are so many delicious recipes. I just may be making a new sauce recipe every week.

    Thanks so much for hosting.

  18. Hi Tina,
    Your Roasted Garlic Tomato and Meat Spaghetti looks like an awesome recipe that we would really enjoy. Thank you so much for hosting the CCC for us and hope you are having a great week!
    Miz Helen

  19. Your sauce sounds wonderful and I'll bet that the balsamic vinegar adds a great depth of flavor. Thanks again for hosting the CCC, so much fun.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my CCC entry: Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  20. Another great 'Challenge,' Tina! Thanks so much for all your hard work!!
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground

  21. Tina, this looks great! And thank you so much for hosting again!

  22. This sauce looks great. Thanks for hosting!!!
    Alyssa #61

  23. My favorite combo! Looks yummy! Thanks so much for hosting!

  24. This recipe looks great, and so nice to have more in the freezer. I hope you like my very first entry, #74. Can't wait to make some blueberry muffins for next month.

  25. My uncle swore that spaghetti sauce only tasted its best after being frozen for at least a week, so that the flavors 'married' properly. The ingredients are so yummy on this, I'm definitely going to make it the next time. I'm #28. Come visit when you can.

  26. Love your photos and details. First time here in this contest. Do visit #65

  27. I find some of the best recipes on Pinterest! I've started using my boards a a virtual recipe box, then I just put my laptop on the kitchen table and start cooking away. Looks like you've found another winner here Tina!

  28. You can't go wrong with roasted garlic! YUM! Thanks, Tina!!!

  29. Looks delicious. It is always nice when you can freeze some for another meal.
    Thanks for hosting again!

  30. Looks and sounds delicious. I would rarely have the patience to spend so long roasting vegetables just to make a tomato sauce but I know it's really worth it when you do.

  31. Love the fact that you cook once, but are able to freeze the rest to use later :) Thanks for hosting!

  32. Wow lots of spaghetti recipes!!! Off to blog hop now...

    PS- can you invite me to pinterest? :)

  33. pulsing the meat in the food processor, nice tip.. I am so using this next time I make sausage for our pizzas, as I'm always chopping it up to make smaller for the kids. Thanks for hosting our challenge! - Heather from challenger #33 :)


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