Friday, December 6, 2013

Economy Meals: Garden Vegetable Pasta Sauce

It's time for economy meals post #2. I got this recipe from a friend, and changed it a little to my family's tastes (which you are welcome to do as well). It's very easy to make, it's super healthy, and it freezes really well if you want to make it in a large batch and save some for later. I love this economy recipe not only because of how healthy it is, but also because of how cheap it is to make. I usually have some, if not all, of the ingredients in my fridge or fruit basket at any given time. Plus, pasta is a mainstay in most pantries, which is generally what I serve this sauce with.

Garden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
Ingredients
  • 3-5 tomatoes, whichever variety you prefer. The first time I made this recipe I used a carton of cherry tomatoes and 3 roma tomatoes, but this time I used 3 vine ripe tomatoes and 3 roma tomatoes. Use which ever variety you prefer, or what looks best at the market that day.
  • carrots (about a handful of baby carrots or 1 regular sized carrot)
  • 1 bell pepper, the color of your choice
  • 1 onion
  • various vegetables of your choice: the first time I made this sauce I used zucchini and summer squash, this time I used a little cauliflower and broccoli that I had leftover from a previous meal
  • garlic: fresh or jarred, your choice. I usually use fresh, and if you choose this option use whole cloves (as many as you like, I usually use 3-5). If you choose the jarred, minced garlic option (which I did this time b/c I forgot garlic at the store) use about 2 tsp during the last 10 mins of roasting.
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper, dried basil, dried oregano: all to taste
  • a blender, food processor, or immersion blender
Directions

1. Wash and dry all of your veggies. 

2. Cut up your veggies and place them in a large baking dish or roasting pan.
3. Drizzle them liberally with extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle your salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Toss your veggies so that they are all well coated.
I always have a hard time keeping my husband from sneaking veggies while my back is turned.....

4. Roast your veggies in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 mins. Take your pan out of the oven and toss them again. *if you chose to use jarred garlic, now would be the time to add it*
5. Put your pan back in the oven for about another 10 mins, or until they are done.
Your house is going to smell soooooo good

6. Remove your pan from the oven and allow the veggies to cool for a bit. Once they have cooled blend them well, adding oil as needed, until the sauce is as chunky or silky as you prefer. I always leave mine a little chunky, but it's up to you. *It is important that if you are using a traditional blender that you make sure to cool your veggies for a bit.*
7. Transfer your sauce into a sauce pan for reheating, and add any additional salt, pepper, or herbs that you desire. Serve immediately and freeze or refrigerate leftovers.
My finished product. Yum!

I served my sauce over some penne rigate pasta with cheesy garlic bread on the side. My husband loves this recipe, and it's a great way to sneak some fresh produce into your kids.