Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kitchen Staple: Tomato Pasta Sauce

Pasta with a creamy tomato sauce

Every time I have to pick up a jar of pasta sauce at the store I think to myself, I really should make this instead. A slow cooker made the process extremely easy. We used it tonight for dinner with a little cream cheese melted in to make it creamy to go with the egg pasta Chris made. The best part is I have enough for 4 more dinner out of the batch. Just freeze it flat in a quart size zip lock bag and take one out the night before you use it. I made mine vegetarian this time and added TVP (Total Vegetable Protein) for additional protein and also to absorb some of the liquid from the additional vegetables I put in there. Free feel to use ground meat or a combination of meat/TVP instead.

Tomato Pasta Sauce

This makes a large batch. I would use it the night of and then freeze it in quart size bags (about 3 - 3 1/2 cup each). The amount of sugar and salt used will depends on the type/brand of tomatoes used.

Ingredients

  • 2 can crushed tomatoes, low sodium, 28 oz each
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, low sodium, 14 1/2 oz
  • 1 can tomato paste, 6 oz
  • 2 carrot, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • ½ large onion, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp. basalmic vinegar
  • brown sugar, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup TVP, leave dry


Method

With a food processor, chopped each vegetables into very small pieces separately. It takes a bit more time, but you will have more uniform pieces if you don't mix all the vegetables together.

Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on slow for 8 hours. Adjust the seasoning with brown sugar, salt and ground black pepper as needed.


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