Quick-n-Dirty Vegetable Sauce

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For a couple of zucchini and 12 oz of mushrooms, one standard can (16 oz?) of sauce is enough. Good veggies for this: mushroom, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, artichoke heart, green bean, acorn squash. Peppers and onions added to the sauté overwhelm the whole dish for me, making it taste like a big pepper (rather than a big tomato which is what I want it to taste like).

The Saturday afternoon way to get good veggies in sauce (a sauté pan, a pot, a blender, another pot for skinning tomatoes): if I have time I start my tomato sauce by simmering 3 oz of sun-dried tomatoes and a head or two of whole garlic cloves (uncut garlic, cooked before processing, has a much milder taste than garlic that is cut before cooking). A handful of dried sweet red pepper flakes added to this is also good.

Once everything is cooked/rehydrated, I purée it, return it to the pot, add sauteed veggies plus several large peeled/seeded/chopped tomatoes. Also rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, etc. in random quantities, usually a couple of bay leaves and a couple of teaspoons of each of the dried herbs, and a big wad of fresh basil leaves (hydroponic basil, found year-round in central IL grocery stores). Simmer this until it tastes done. If it's thin, add a little more water and it's soup, if thick, add a little tomato paste and it's spaghetti sauce. I've also put lentils in this and called it minestrone.



  1. Grate copious amounts of garlic and sauté in a squirt of PAM spray until brown.
  2. Sprinkle in some rosemary and oregano.
  3. Add veggies and some water and sauté.
  4. Add some fresh basil leaves if you have them, and saute until they just wilt.
  5. Add a sufficient amount of canned tomato sauce and a little tomato paste to achieve the texture you want.