It's ironic that I am not a huge fan of pasta, yet it is the one food I make every single week. EVERY SINGLE WEEK. Without fail. Too tired to cook for hubby, boil some pasta, add pesto and some parm. Toddler being finisky? Boil some pasta, add grape tomatoes, avocados and raw broccoli, and top with a little olive oil + salt and pepper and bam dinner (at least 3x a week). Want to make a dish for a new mama that can be reheated and eaten all week long? Pasta wins again. We usually stick to whole wheat or quinoa pasta but I am looking to test out a few more kinds. (please share your favs!) Which is why I knew I'd eventually want to "healthify" a pasta sauce recipe to stock my freezer with.
So how do you do that without losing the flavor (or my hubby's interest level)? Well you roast up a bunch of yummy veggies along with your farm fresh (yay CSA!!) tomatoes, which you then blend into submission and then simmer until the whole house smells like what I'd hope growing up in an Italian household would smell like. Serve on whole wheat pasta with my favorite homemade kale turkey meatballs and I am going to go ahead and call that a win. And making a from scratch dinner that we all loved, in a week where my toddler is playing "test those boundaries" and little sleep is a bigger win, so easy to say I am feeling golden.
***Let's just disregard the fact that I spent most of the days in my pj's and had not put a brush through my hair, that my friends is called balance....**
I would say make the sauce over the weekend and it makes for a much easier weeknight dinner. Freezing? Take it out morning of and place in the fridge for defrosting. Other than a bit of work to get the veggies cut up, and allowing for time to simmer you aren't left with a ton of clean up. Which in my book is IMPORTANT.
I had to include these shots of our dinner because the kale turkey meatballs were bomb.com! And will hopefully be up on le blog soon. Just need some tweaking....
20 garden tomatoes
2 small eggplants
4 red peppers (cut in 4's and remove seeds)
2 red onions
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp rosemary
1tbsp fresh oregano
1tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp minced garlic
(some folks add sugar and I'm not against it, but my tomatoes were so sweet it wasn't necessary so add sugar to taste... and if you don't have enough tomatoes, I say for for an organic can of tomatoes)
Pre-heat the oven to 450.
Cut all veggies and tomatoes into similar size chunks, toss in about half off the oil and all dried herbs until completely coated.
(I kept the skin on all veggies since I was going to blend them all together)
Roast on a couple baking sheets at 450 for 45 minutes.
Let them cool and blend in blender.
The texture really will depend on you, I was hiding veggies so I blended to submission.
In a heavy pot, heat the rest of oil over medium heat.
Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).
Add the pureed roasted goodness and fresh herbs to the pot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 40 -50 minutes, until sauce thickens a bit.
Cool slightly and drench all pastas in it.
I will also be using it in a baked pasta/eggplant dish this weekend and promise to report back.
Best part is you can honestly include any veggies, have some spinach or kale throw it in to the blender with the roasted veggies. Have some carrots or broccoli or entire heads of garlic, roast them with the tomatoes. You can only win with this yummy Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce.
I was hoping to get this up earlier this week but isn't the weekend the best time for a new recipe anyway? That way you have a whole two days of sampling said recipe... ha!