Happy President’s Day! This week will be an absolute blur for me – too many meetings, a very special 15th birthday, her party, and our swim team is hosting a very large, all-day swim meet that I’m on the board for… lots of planning on tap this week. I’m very happy to have a post ready to go today. It’s actually our dinner for tonight and I’ll admit that I’ve eaten a bowl of this sauce already (you know, quality assurance). It’s perfect for meatless Monday! And if you puree it – it makes it kid-proof so they can’t pick out veggies or even detect them AND it thickens the sauce up nicely so your most voracious carnivores get the same thick, meaty sauce feeling in their mouth that will fill them up sans the meat.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium or large yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
3 tablespoons of dried Italian seasoning
Pinch of red pepper
1 handful of fresh basil – see note in directions
1 -28 oz can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1/2 cup or more of drinking red wine
Into a large Dutch oven, add your olive oil and get it nice and hot. Add your onions, carrots, peppers, garlic and zucchini. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until softened (over medium heat, stirring frequently). Then add your seasonings. Give a good stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT fresh basil. Lower the heat and stir. Cover and cook for at least 20 minutes. If pureeing, add the fresh basil and puree with a hand immersion blender or work in batches with your Vitamix or blender. If leaving chunky, garnish with the fresh basil prior to serving. Use this sauce for your pizza, over your chicken or atop al dente pasta. Pasta noodles are also heavenly!
— Knead to Cook