Hidden Veggies Tomato Sauce
Have limp celery? Wiggly carrots? Sometimes vegetables pile up in your fridge, and over time they start to look sad and flimsy. Their next destination shouldn’t be the trashcan… they should wind up in your next bowl of pasta, masked by tomato goodness.
I love making large batches of this sauce and storing portions of it in the freezer. That way I always have a healthy, hearty tomato sauce on hand. What’s great about this sauce is that you can dump whatever you have on hand into the pot, there is not a strict list of ingredients for this recipe.
This is also a lifesaver when you find yourself with way too many veggies. Sometimes I have a busy week, and don’t have the time to cook up my veggies from my Hungry Harvest delivery before they go bad. That’s usually when I make this sauce!
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In the last batch I made, I used 2 carrots, 1 pack of cherry tomatoes, 3 stalks of celery, a few garlic cloves and one onion. The ingredient list below is very vague for a reason. This is meant to be a guide for using your leftover veggies, and not a strict recipe.
- Must haves:
- 1 10oz can of tomato paste
- At least 1 cup of fresh or canned tomatoes
- 1 TBSP oil (avocado or olive are my preference)
- Salt & pepper
- Vegetables, mixed variety
- My favorites to add include onion, carrot, celery and parsnips.
- Possible add-ins:
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh herbs
- Anything your heart desires…
- Dice vegetables – try to keep all the pieces the same size so that they will cook evenly.
- Add vegetables to a pot on the stove over medium heat, with a tablespoon of olive or avocado oil. Start with adding the tougher veggies (like carrots and celery) first, then adding the softer veggies (like the tomatoes) after about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to preference.
- Simmer veggies over medium heat for about 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low, allowing them to soften.
- While veggies simmer, add the small can of tomato paste. This really helps to mask the flavor of the “hidden” veggies. Depending on how many vegetables are added to the pan, you may find that you’ll need to add more tomato paste.
- Once everything has softened and smells awesome, turn off the heat. This is the time to add the fresh herbs if you have them. Allow the mixture to cool, then transfer to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Either use the sauce right away, or transfer to freezer safe containers and freeze. That’s it! You’re done.