Monday, April 13, 2015

Roasted Veggie Pasta Sauce

In the last post I showed you all the awesome fruits and vegetables I scored from Bountiful Baskets recently. And even though there are 7 of us it takes a little work to intentionally use through that big of a bounty before it goes bad. Some of the ways I remedied that was by cutting up fruit that would be good in our smoothies and putting it into the freezer. Not only do I have it on hand for future use but I don't have to bother with ice in my smoothie....double duty! I wanted to be able to freeze up something with a portion of the vegetables that were still hanging around so I decided to roast them up and turn them into a big batch of pasta sauce.

I sliced up two containers of heirloom tomatoes, some green pepper, yellow squash, and zucchini and put them on a roasting pan. In a mixing bowl I put chopped onion and garlic, fresh rosemary and basil, salt and pepper to taste, a touch of roasted red peppers for heat and about 1/3 cup of olive oil. I whisked all of that together and poured it over the veggies, tossing to makes sure and cover them all.

I then popped them in a 375 degree oven for about an hour. Once done I let them cool before sliding them into my blender. I also threw in some pureed butternut squash I had in the freezer (after letting it defrost) just for a little more vegetable, not to mention I like the added sweetness it brings. Gave it all a whirl until it was well blended. After that I separated it into mason jars. The two on the left went in the freezer once they cooled. Make sure that when freezing in mason jars you get the straight ones with no neck because they are less likely to crack when the food expands. And because it expands when it freezes, don't fill it all the way to the top. The jar on the right went in the fridge and I poured it over baked chicken parmesan that night.

You can play with this recipe depending on whatever you have on hand. The recipe I loosely followed only used tomatoes but I didn't have enough to make a sufficient amount of sauce and I like the different flavor that comes from using a variety of vegetables. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand, dried work just fine and you can adjust depending on what you like. If you are going to use some of the sauce right away it will be cooled down from blending so just warm it back up in a sauce pan. Same goes for using the frozen stuff, defrost in the fridge the day you are using it and then warm it up to put on top of pasta or chicken or dump it right in with something that is going to bake in the oven. I can't wait to use the other two jars - what recipe would you incorporate them into?

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