I love this sauce because it is loaded with veggies (but kids don’t have to know that). While my son is a fairly good eater and my 13 month old will eat almost every veggie or fruit I give her, my 2.5 year old is a different story. She does, however, love spaghetti, so this is a great meal to serve.
The Best Tomato Sauce Ever
2 small onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 zucchinis, grated
3 carrots, grated
1 tbsp. olive oil
large pinch of oregano
2 bay leaves
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, grated
4 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups water
pinch of sea salt
-Add the olive oil to the pan and warm over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, zucchinis and carrots along with the oregano and bay leaves.
-Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes with the lid on, or until the veggies are soft but not starting to brown.
-Meanwhile, peel 1 small butternut squash, then carefully cut it in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and coarsely grate the flesh. Add it to the pan of vegetables.
-Add the tomatoes, water, sea salt and black pepper.
-Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft.
-Take the pan off the heat, spoon out the bay leaves, and let the sauce cool before blending in batches in a food processor. Makes 13 cups.
This sauce can be frozen. It is a fair amount of work to make, so I would recommend making it on the weekend and freezing the extra for busy weeknights. When I double the recipe, I end up with enough sauce for 6 meals for 6 people. This freezes beautifully!
A 1/2 cup portion of this sauce contains 2 to 3 veggie servings! Best of all, all of my kids ate this right up.
(The original recipe, found in a 2011 Parenting magazine, called for 1 small leek and 2 stalks of celery to be added in the beginning, but I did not have those on hand, so we didn’t use them.)
To make this meal a little more filling, I typically add 1 pound of cooked, ground beef to the sauce.