It’s amazing how many pasta recipes say “Serve with a salad,” as if that’s the only way to add vegetables to a plate. How many of those uninspired side salads go uneaten? A boring pile of iceberg lettuce is practically an insult to a zesty hot pasta dish that you prepared yourself.
Here’s a solution: incorporate the veggies into the pasta dish itself. Adding farm-fresh produce to a homemade tomato sauce will make your sauce as colorful and chunky as it is healthy. Follow this recipe to the letter if you need a guiding hand in the kitchen, or experiment with your own combinations of vegetables depending on what’s in season.
Worried about time? Cut double the vegetables whenever you find yourself at the cutting board. Having them already cut in the fridge makes healthy snacking easier, but it also cuts down on your cooking time when you find you need veggies for a dish. Next time you make tomato sauce (or even a pasta salad or a slow cooker soup), you’ll be halfway prepped.
Tip: Add fire-roasted tomatoes (available in the canned tomato section at most stores) for extra flavor.
Chunky Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 cup butternut or acorn squash, chopped
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 28-oz. cans chopped tomatoes (with juice)
- Salt and fresh-ground pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Add all ingredients except tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Recipe adapted from Cabot.