Monday, March 16

Easy 3 Step Eggplant Red Pepper Tomato Pasta Sauce

I have a great, half day simmer, until the house smells awesome, recipe for vegetable pasta sauce. I have used it for years. I usually make two huge stockpots full. Then freeze the sauce in 1 cup, 3 cup, and 1/2 cup increments for pizza, spaghetti, chili, chicken parm, and anything that needs a tomato-like sauce. ahem. Please excuse the Italian biased list - this sauce is good in many different types of food. I heart Italian food.  

Anyways... This sauce is full of veggies that are diced, lightly sauteed, pureed, and simmered until all the flavors marry together. I must admit it is kind of a process. It isn't exactly baby-not-sleeping-through-the-night, exhausted-new-mom, husband-busy-with-college-and-work type of thing though. Even if its freezer friendly and I can make large batches that last for a few months.... I eventually will run out. And I did. Enter an easy three step eggplant, red pepper tomato/pasta sauce. 

Gasp. I hate running out of staples. This left me scrambling until... I remembered this great this sauce using eggplant, so I whipped up something similar. Only took 20 minutes! I could hold the baby a little, let him play on the floor, and before I could say wet diaper it was done! It tasted great and also worked extremely well in my updated chipotle pizza casserole

I heart eggplant. It is so easy to work with, and combine into things without much notice. It's also a great source of b vitamins and fiber. 

The Sauce
makes approx 4 cups

1 tsp olive oil 
1 can (14-15oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14-15oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of pinot noir (one of my fav red wines)
1 eggplant, skinned and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp pepper 

1. To make this into pasta sauce or pizza sauce add 2 Tbs of Italian seasoning.

2. If you are using this in the place of canned tomato sauce like in chili I would add in 1 tsp more smoked paprika. 

3. Keep it as is, and use it in the place of anything that calls for canned tomato sauce in a recipe to get more nuritients.

Easy 3 Step Directions

1. Combine the olive oil, eggplant, and red pepper in pot or pan with thick sides. Saute for a few minutes. 

2. Add in everything else, stir well, and simmer on medium low for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

3. Blend the tomato mixture in a food processor or blender until it is smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

*A useful tip: when blending hot things like sauces or purees use a hand towel over your blender to prevent the steam popping the lid off, splattering your kitchen with food, or burning yourself. 

*If freezing cool completely before storing in freezer bags flat or in freezer containers.