End of the Garden Pasta Sauce

Winter came early to the mid-Columbia this year. Usually I am gathering the green tomatoes from my garden about this time, turning them into salsa or enchilada sauce. But this year the frost got to them before I did. Luckily I had picked all the red and almost-red tomatoes the day before. Most of them went into canned puree, but the rest became a big pot of yummy, end of the season pasta sauce.

Pasta sauce is a great way to use up vegetable odds and ends and this batch was no different.

gardensauce1First I sauteed a leek from the garden, one poor little leftover garlic clove, and half a bell pepper in a little bit of olive oil. Then I added the ground-up, pureed tomatoes.

gardensauce2To that I added a good pinch of dried basil (from the garden), dried marjoram, dried red pepper flakes, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I add brown sugar to my sauce, but for this batch I used some of the sweet cherry tomatoes that I dried earlier in the season. The funny looking red stuff is dried bean granules. Dried bean granules are a great way to boost protein and fiber in any dish, without affecting the flavor.  Plus, I like the texture they add to the sauce. I mixed that all up and let it simmer for about an hour. Some people prefer their sauce cooked all day, but if you really like that fresh-tomato taste (even when using canned tomatoes) don’t cook it for more than an hour or two.

gardensauce3Toss the sauce with cooked pasta and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The pasta soaks up the sauce so you get twice the flavor! Add a little more sauce to each serving and top with grated Asiago cheese.

That’s all! No added salt, no added corn syrup. It was absolutely scrumptious, as only a fresh sauce can be. And a great way to use up those garden ends. Happy eating!

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

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