Most times when you hear V8 you are either looking at a car engine or watching Jackie Chan commercials for the vegetable packed juice that is great for making Bloody Mary's! After I made my Virgin Bloody Mary Chicken I decided that I would use V8 as my tomato sauce to give a boost in the vegetable department. Today I am going to take you on another journey with V8 and make a meat sauce.
This recipe is great for the winter time as it is thick and hearty. The size of this recipe makes a big pot of sauce which you can freeze in portions for later use.
What you will need for the sauce is:
1.5 lbs of ground beef (I prefer 80/20)
1.5 lbs or 5 links of mild Italian sausage (you can use spicy if you like sauce with a little kick)
2-14.5 oz cans of low sodium diced tomatoes
1/2 bottle of low sodium V8
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of sweet basil
1-2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of water
To start, in a dutch oven you want to add about 2 tablespoons of canola oil and heat on medium high. Peel the casing off the sausage and brown the links on 2 sides. When you have browned both sides, you your spoon to cut through the links and cook till they are browned on all sides. Your sausage should look like mini meatballs when you are done. Spoon the sausage out and set aside.
Using the fat from the sausage and the remaining oil, add the onions and garlic and cook till you start to see the onions turn clear. Add the ground beef and cook till it is done. Drain the fat from the meat when the ground beef is cooked through and add your seasonings with exception to the salt and add the Italian sausage back to the pot. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes, 1/2 bottle of V8, sugar, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. use the 1/2 cup of water to "rinse" out the tomato cans and pour into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. Once the sauce starts to bubble, turn the heat to medium low and simmer till it gets to desired thickness. Do not worry if it gets too thick, you can always add a little pasta water as you are cooking to thin it out to the desired consistence. Taste the sauce and add salt as needed and you are ready to put it on any kind of pasta you'd like.
As I said, this is a hearty sauce you can freeze in portioned servings, just heat in the microwave and pour over fresh cooked pasta any time of the year.