Making spaghetti sauce from scratch is surprisingly easy, and not surprisingly, delicious (especially if made with locally grown or homegrown tomatoes). While this dish takes a little bit of time to prepare, it takes very little skill. I recommend to double (or even triple) this recipe for lots of leftovers with little additional effort. The extra sauce can be thrown in your freezer for another day. Now that I have spoiled my family by making this sauce with tomatoes from our garden, I am going to have to load up at the next farmer’s market and freeze enough sauce to last us until the next tomato season. Wish me luck with that one!
Also, if you think your kids will detect and detest the veggies in this sauce then try puréeing them in the food processor for a better disguise. Or you could just leave them out and increase the onion if necessary. My kids like it when I serve a side of garlic toast (whole-wheat toast topped with butter & garlic powder and toasted) with this dish.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes (or 2 cups canned plum tomatoes with juice)
- 2/3 cup chopped carrot
- 2/3 cup chopped celery
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 1 to 1 ½ pounds cooked whole-wheat pasta
- Optional: ground beef, turkey, sausage, and/or diced mushrooms
- Parmesan cheese
- If using fresh tomatoes drop them into boiling water for 1 minute. Drain them and peel off the skin (when they are cool enough to handle). Once they have been boiled the skin comes off very easily (pictured). Cut canned or fresh tomatoes into coarse piece and reserve juice.
- Add the tomatoes with juice, chopped carrot, celery and onion to a large saucepan on low heat. Cook uncovered at a slow simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the olive oil and bring sauce to a slightly stronger simmer for 15 more minutes. Stir frequently and mash tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
- Taste and add salt as needed. I usually add a bit of salt myself.
- Combine with cooked ground beef, ground turkey, sausage, diced mushrooms and/or fresh or dried herbs if desired and serve over whole-wheat pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 4 – 5 servings