My favorite spaghetti sauces are the ones that include a bunch of chunky vegetables. Unfortunately, my children do not share in that preference. In fact, if I give them spaghetti sauce with bits of onion and pepper in it in particular, they will either refuse to eat it, or they will pick all of the veggies out before consuming. I'm not sure where these children came from, because they don't take after me OR my husband in this respect. I'm hoping they will grow out of it.
But in the meantime, I was left with this predicament as I pondered my homemade spaghetti sauce. Do I leave the veggies out and lose my desired flavor, or do I leave them in and have a battle at the dinner table over uneaten food? Solution: include the veggies, then pour the whole thing into the blender or food processor before adding to the girls' pasta. I know you are probably all thinking "Duh!", but I was pretty proud of that idea. Worked like a charm, too! Not a peep of complaint over unwanted veggies in the sauce. And it was still pretty darn good, too. (I left a bit of the chunky stuff out for myself, and I thought the kids' version might have actually been better.)
Anyways... on to the recipe...
HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI SAUCE
* 1 tbs. olive oil
* 3 large cloves garlic
* veggies as desired (I used 1/2 a large green pepper and 1 small onion, both diced. Other ideas could include chopped mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, or whatever you like)
* 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
* 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
* 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
* 1-2 tbs. of fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried basil
* 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
* 1-2 tsp. salt
* 2 tbs. wine or vinegar (whatever kind you prefer -- I used white vinegar because other vinegars and wines have been bothering me lately for some unknown reason)*
* 1/4 c. apple or white grape juice
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute garlic and veggies until tender. Add tomato products, seasonings, and liquids. Stir well. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer about 30 minutes for best flavor. Puree in a blender or food processor if desired.
* I probably would normally have added wine but for the reason above. Also, my husband is a huge fan of vinegar, so he enjoys the extra little tangy zip. This is a slightly more tangy spaghetti sauce rather than much of a mellow or sweet sauce, but we certainly enjoy it!