Garden Style Tomato Sauce
(This post was originally published on 2/19/2009 – I’ve just updated the picture and added more precise measurements today)
I know a lot of times women and mothers are desperately trying to increase the number of veggies in their loved ones diets. Husbands insist on a main dish of Hamburger Helper with sides of macaroni and cheese with some Fritos. Ahh, the horror. Lucky for me, my husband loves his veggies (save for the zucchini, which we all know about these days. Why oh why must he hate my favorite veggie?)
So, if you are fighting the veggie battle in your family, this recipe may help you out. You may have to throw some meatballs in the mix to get the sauce down the hatch, and that’s okay (just use lean ground meat!).
This recipe is full of garden fresh vegetables (well, okay, not really, it is February after all, but let me tell you, if it were August and my husband’s foot wasn’t broken, these veggies would be fresh from our garden, I promise!).
Garden Style Marinara
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced into 1/4″ dice (okay, I had a mammoth genetic abnormality of a bell pepper, so I only used 1/2 of it. Do as I say, readers, not as I do)
1 onion diced
2 stalks celery, diced Ugh, the celery gnome strikes again! If you have some in the fridge, throw it in. If you don’t, blame the gnome.
2 bay leaves (So important! As a rookie cook I always skipped this ingredient. Don’t do it!)
1 T dried basil
1.5 T dried oregano
salt (amount varies depending on the salt content of canned goods you have purchased)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 15oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 can broth or water
Saute the veggies. If you are using a crockpot, here is a neat trick: while prepping veggies, crank your crockpot up to high and oil the bottom, put the lid on in order to maximize the temperature inside the crock. By the time you are done chopping the veggies, unless *ahem* you used your food processor, the oil in the crockpot should be piping hot enough to saute the veggies in the pot itself (instead of using a pan stovetop). You can thank that crazy lady at crockpot365.blogspot.com for this tip.
Add the spices, bay leaves, and canned goods. Cook to your hearts desire. A couple of hours stovetop or a couple of hours on low in the crock. Whatever.
And, if you must, feel free to puree the sauce in your blender or with your immersion blender in order to entice bachelor husbands to get their 4-6 servings of veggies a day. And remember, potatoes don’t count!