Hearty Vegetable Pasta Sauce

The cold weather is here and that makes us crave hearty dishes to warm us up inside and out, and what’s more hearty than a nice bowl of pasta? Making your own pasta sauce is fairly simple and fills your house with such amazing aromas, it’ll make you want to cook a batch every day! If you are a veggie lover, this sauce is for you. Made from fresh tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, red bell peppers, and carrots, this sauce is not only incredibly delicious, but pretty nutritious too. Best of all, this recipe will make you about 8 cups of sauce so you can have some tonight and freeze the rest for those busy evenings when you barely have time boil some water.

Perhaps you have just taken a trip to the farmer’s market or have a batch of vegetables that are getting quite ripe? This sauce is the perfect way to use a whole load of veggies in one recipe that will make enough for multiple dinners. If you are anything like us, you hate wasting food, so instead of throwing all that money in the trash, spend some time whipping up this beautiful and hearty sauce that your whole family will love. Paired with some meatballs, or fresh eggplant or even just a simple whole wheat noodle, this pasta sauce will help fill your family with countless nutritional benefits and give them the energy they need to keep them fueled and ready to roll!

Ingredients
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced
  • 8 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 6 whole tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 summer squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 zucchini, peeled and diced
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1/2 T garlic powder
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 T pepper
  • 1 1/2 T salt
  • 1/2 c vegetable stock, if desired

Begin by washing, peeling and chopping all of your veggies. Heat up the olive oil in the pan and let it warm, then add in the chopped garlic and onion and let it cook together until the onions are translucent,  around 3 minutes. Add in the carrots and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Then add in all of your veggies and spices (excluding the vegetable stock).

This sauce is thick, but the longer you cook it, the more the vegetables will break down. By simmering for around two hours, you will get a much thinner sauce, but if you still want an even thinner consistency, you can add in 1/2 cup of vegetable stock or even use an immersion blender to break down the vegetable pieces further. Taste as you cook and adjust the spices to fit the needs of your family’s pallet. Remember that the vegetables will absorb the salt as they cook, so you may have to add a bit of additional salt at the end for more flavor. 

This sauce can be frozen and stored in mason jars for up to a year, which means that you can have fresh pasta sauce anytime you want! This is also a great way to taste your favorite vegetables when they may not be in season. Depending on the size of your family, you can easily get 3 or 4 dinner’s worth out of this recipe too. So don’t throw away those ripe veggies, turn them into something delicious instead!

Looking for more freezer friendly meal ideas? Check out our post on Tips & Tricks for Preparing Freezer Meals for all of those busy nights!

Photo Credit: Our Three Peas

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Michelle

Michelle; full time mama, part time blogger, wife extraordinaire. This busy mama to three “peas” is a lover of all things running, crafting and baking. A New England native and current desert dweller, she is the brains and wit behind the blog Our Three Peas, where she writes about the hilarious reality that is motherhood. She strives to live a green and natural life and swears that most motherhood-related dramas can be solved by having a nice glass of wine at the end of the evening.

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