Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kenna's "I Can't Take Ragu Anymore" sauce

I have been meaning to post this for awhile. It is an EASY homemade sauce the makes eating the pasta your 2 year old will only eat and nothing else bearable. It also makes everything else taste so much better.

This recipe is so easy and makes so much I put the rest in 2 quart freezer plastic bags to use later. Fill the bags and lay flat for freezing. Once frozen (usually overnight) move to a more convenient spot. The bag can defrost in a bowl of hot water within 10 minutes which means you don't have to remember to put it out the night before or that morning while you are running around crazy trying to find shoes, keys, purse, etc.

I call it Kenna's Tomato Sauce because I adapted a recipe from a crockpot cookbook enough that it looks completely different. Although I will suggest "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. It was adapted from the Marinara Sauce recipe on page 242.


Olive Oil for sweating onions and garlic in skillet
1 - cup finely chopped sweet or yellow onion (depends on your preference and what is in season)
2 - cloves garlic, minced
4 - 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (organic if possible, flavor seems better)
1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
3 - Bell Peppers, diced
1 tbls sugar
Salt and pepper to taste (I don't use pepper because both my kids and husband don't like it so it isn't necessary)

1. Put garlic, onions, and olive oil (about 2 tbls in pan) on medium heat for about 5 minutes until translucent.

2. While that cooks chop the bell peppers (probably on the same cutting board you did the onions and garlic).

*Another tip, I buy a bag of onions and chop them in the food processor all at once. I then divide them up into 1/2 cup quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. It saves time and tears. I don't know how many recipes I have decided not to cook because I didn't want to mess with the onions or didn't have one, or forgot to get that one onion for that one recipe, or the one I had went bad. I then put the onions in a plastic container to contain the smell inside the freezer because.....well you know.

3. Now, put everything in the crockpot on low for 6 hours.

This will make about 5 - 2 quart servings which is just about right for 4 to 5 servings of pasta. So you will get 5 meals out this one batch for a family, or 15 lunch servings for you and the 2 year old or more. If you double the recipe you have to add an hour or so to the cooking time.

*I think you could add whatever you like to the recipe. It doesn't have to be bell peppers or you could add something else like mushrooms. I added fresh roma tomatoes from a friend's garden for a chunkier texture this last time around. Bell peppers are all my littlest one will let me get away with right now. He refuses to eat anything with unknown specks or chunks.

BTW - I will suggest the "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfield techniques for sneaking veggies into toddler food. He loves the butternut squash pizza we make. They get very excited about the "goo" we add to everything, but that is another note.


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