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Spicy Sausage Meatball Sauce

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Cook: 5 hours

Makes

12 servings (3-3/4 quarts)

I threw together spicy sausage and three of our favorite veggies for this incredible sauce that makes our mouths water the whole time it's cooking. Besides serving this with pasta (refrigerated tortellini is best), we've had it with brown basmati rice, on toasted Italian rolls to make sloppy subs and as a stew with garlic bread. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
Spicy Sausage Meatball Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper
  • 1 medium sweet orange pepper
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper
  • 10 hot Italian sausage links (4 ounces each), casings removed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Hot cooked pasta

Directions

  1. Place first 8 ingredients in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Chop onion and peppers; stir into tomato mixture.
  2. Shape sausage into 1-3/4-in. balls; roll in flour to coat lightly. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook meatballs in batches until lightly browned, 5-8 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Add to slow cooker, stirring gently into sauce.
  3. Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours or until meatballs are cooked through and vegetables are tender. Serve with pasta.
  4. Freeze option: Freeze cooled meatball mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place meatball mixture in a large skillet. Heat through, stirring occasionally; add a little water if necessary.

Test Kitchen tips
  • This is a hearty take on meatballs with sauce. If you aren’t a fan of heat, use sweet sausage links.
  • Try serving the meatballs and sauce on toasted Italian sub rolls.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1-1/4 cups meatball sauce: 343 calories, 23g fat (7g saturated fat), 51mg cholesterol, 984mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 5g fiber), 15g protein.

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