Slow-Cooked Red Sauce

This recipe is my standby. In my humble opinion, homemade tomato sauce tastes worlds better than any you buy in a jar. I fill this sauce with vegetables and the kids eat it in large quantities (as long as it tops some kind of carb!).  I make a big pot on a day when I am going to be home all afternoon and freeze portions in the freezer so that I can make a quick spaghetti or pizza dinner when we are late getting back from swimming lessons and the kids are starving.

Red Sauce


2 T olive oil

2 onions, chopped

3 cloves of minced garlic

3 carrots, chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

2 red peppers, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes

1/4 cup red lentils

1 vegetable stock cube

2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

1 T oregano


I use a cast iron Dutch oven, because it cooks really well for a long time at a low temperature, but you can use any big pot.

Begin by adding the onions to the olive oil. Start at a medium temperature, and when you start hearing sizzling, turn the temperature to low. Put the lid on and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add carrots, sweet potato, red peppers, zucchini and cook until softened (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add diced tomatoes and other remaining ingredients. Continue to cook on low, with the lid on, for about three or four hours, or until the sauce is no longer watery, but thick.

Adjust seasoning to taste. (I often add some garlic salt and onion salt.)

Blend until smooth. (I use a stick blender because you don’t have to take the sauce out of the pot.)

Serve liberally on whole wheat spaghetti or use as a pizza sauce. This red sauce also works well on spaghetti squash or zucchini — although I can’t my kids to eat them! But often when I am making them spaghetti, I will roast a spaghetti squash, take out the strands with a fork and replace my pasta with the squash.

Or instead of eating pizza, I will make zucchini pizza by spreading the red sauce on zucchini halves with a few extra pieces of garlic on top and roasting them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Delicious! If only I could convince my kids. . . But at least I know they are getting some vegetables with this hearty sauce!


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