Every Friday, my basket and I visit the Farmer’s Market by Andel. This market first appeared last Spring, occurring every other week. However, to my delight, it’s now a weekly thing. This market has a variety of fruit and vegetable stalls. Vendors that sell fresh butter, eggs, spring chickens, kolac, bread, olives, smoked meats, fish and if your sweet tooth needs the ultimate fix…there is also a chocolate truffles stand. For me, it’s the perfect size for a market. On this particular Friday, these bright red, plump and juicy looking tomatoes were too irresistible to pass up.
This was the highlight of this week’s purchase and it inspired me to make a batch of homemade pasta sauce. I must confess, with the new hustle and bustle of life with our twins, I have taken the low road and succumbed to purchasing pasta sauce in the jar from the supermarkets (tsk, tsk.) And of course, it just never tastes as good as a batch made with fresh ripe tomatoes.
As my mom kept watch over my very active and energetic 9 month old daughters-whose latest favorite pastimes are to crawl over to our shelves and pull off as many vinyl records, dvds and books, I got cracking in the kitchen. Back in the comforts of my ceramic stove top, with a steely knife in hand and my ol’ wooden chopping board out, I felt a part of my old self come back alive.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, The New Laurel’s Kitchen. It’s a very hearty sauce and worth every effort of chopping up some fresh vegetables. It’s a great way to add more veggies to your dish. My batch went straight to topping off some fresh ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta. Yum! Goodbye canned pasta sauce, hello again delicious homemade healthy veggie sauce!
Very Veggie Pasta Sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons oil
1 small carrot, grated
2 tablespoons, chopped green pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cups tomato, coarsely chopped
1 six-ounce can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Saute onion and garlic in oil until onion is soft.
Crush garlic with a fork.
Add the carrot, green pepper, bay leaf and herbs.
Stir well, then add the rest of the ingredients.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.