Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I have 40 lbs of fresh tomatoes thanks to Bountiful Baskets.  My daughter wanted ravioli casserole for dinner and I wanted to make the sauce from scratch to put on it.  I started googling spaghetti sauce using fresh tomatoes and most of them called for canned tomato paste along with the fresh tomatoes.  I don't have tomato paste, so I decided to go out on my own and just use the recipe as a guide to how many tomatoes I needed.  Here is what I came up with:

12  medium fresh tomatoes (blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds depending on how ripe the tomatoes are and dunk immediately in ice water.  remove skin and cores) - diced
1 medium to large yellow onion - diced
1 small zucchini - diced (I had ALOT of zucchini and yellow squash from Bountiful Baskets that I put in the freezer from last summer and fall.  They are not good fried due to them being very mushy, but work GREAT in this recipe...I just threw them in there still frozen)
1 small yellow squash-diced
1 stalk celery-diced
1/2 red bell pepper-diced
1/2 green bell pepper-diced
3 tbsp fresh oregeno
3 tbsp fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
3  bay leaves
2 8oz cans tomato sauce (if you have it..I think it would be fine without it)
1 can rotel (I just love rotel and had could add another tomato and a can of chilis for the same effect)
2 tbsp sugar (I used splenda)
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbsp salt (little less if you use sea salt)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
cracked pepper to taste

Add olive oil to large sauce pan along with onion, zucchini, squash, celery, and peppers.  Allow to cook until almost soft and then add herbs and saute for just a minute or two.  Add rest of ingredients.  Simmer for 60 minutes (the more it simmers, the more the flavors become pronounced).  Remove from heat and, using emersion blender or stand blender, blend until desired consistency.  Some people like chunky sauce...for those, you don't even need to blend (I like it chunky, but to get my honey and one of my daughters to eat it, I had to hide all the veggies I added to the sauce and they didn't even know it had any.)  REMEMBER TO REMOVE BAY LEAVES.  EVEN IF YOU BLEND, THEY DO NOT BLEND WELL. 
This makes about 2+ quarts.  I used about a quart for the ravioli casserole and put the other half in a quart jar.  It seals due to the heat and will last in your fridge for weeks in that sealed jar.  DO NOT LEAVE IT OUT THINKING IT IS CANNED.  UNLESS YOU FOLLOW CANNING TECHNIQUES FOR TOMATOES WITH NON ACIDIC VEGGIES, IT IS NOT TRULY CANNED.

My 17 year old daughter told me "I love your spaghetti sauce.  You should be on the next great baker...well, no, you can't should be on Master Chef."  I told her I'm not that good.  She said "Oh yes you are!".  That was the most amazing compliment I could ever get.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did.  If you have a non veggie loving family, don't tell them they are in there and I promise, they will not know.  Most of these veggies came from Bountiful most favorite find.  Thanks Liz for the heads up.

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