I used to always keep a bottle of jarred pasta sauce in the pantry as a "instant" dinner for my family in case of an emergency. This sauce, frozen and defrosted, quickly became my "instant" go-to emergency dinner.
In fact, recently I found myself out of my homemade and went for the jarred. Even the good quality organic jarred pasta sauce left little to be desired compared to this delicious sauce.
Chunky Garden Style Marinara Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (or more)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 small to medium zucchini, diced
*any other vegetable you like can be added
1 small can tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and crushed through your hands
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil (optional)
fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)
1. In a large stock pot, put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the pot and turn on the heat.
2. When the oil is hot, sauté the onion with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes. Add the diced peppers and zucchini with another pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Add as much garlic as you like and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the basil and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the tomato paste and cook, coating all the vegetables, for about 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the cans of diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and whole tomatoes (crushed with your hands.) Add about 1/2 a can of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
When ready to serve, add some fresh minced basil and parsley (optional).
Serve over whole wheat pasta.
(I like this sauce best the next day.)
This will make about 3 jars pasta sauce (more or less depending on how many *vegetables you use.)