|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This excellent and nutritious sauce combines beautifully with any type of pasta. Rotini or rotelle are good because their ridges hold the sauce as you eat.
I think that spaghetti sauce is one of the easiest recipes to make vegetarian. You don't need meat in this type of sauce. The vegetables add more than enough flavor.
You can use your favorite vegetables in this sauce; don't limit yourself to just a few. Add some sliced or chopped zucchini or yellow summer squash. Grated carrots would be delicious. And more types of mushrooms, including dried mushrooms, add umami, that "fifth flavor" that tastes like meat.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 carrots (one chopped, one shredded)
- 1 package sliced mushrooms (8-ounce)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 2, 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 16 oz. box spaghetti
Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they are tender. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and bell pepper and stir. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the vegetables in the bottom of a 4 to 5 quart crockpot and add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, and sugar. Stir well.
Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. This recipe can cook as long as 10 hours. Uncover the slow cooker, stir the sauce thoroughly, then leave the cover off the crockpot and turn the heat to high. Cook, uncovered, for 1 to 2 more hours to thicken the sauce.
At this point, the sauce can be frozen. Divide into smaller portions and cool in the refrigerator. Portion the sauce into freezer containers. Wrap, label, and freeze the sauce up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Pour into a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and is thoroughly heated.
You can even cook the pasta until almost tender and combine it with the cooled sauce. Freeze as directed, and thaw as directed. You may need to add 1/4-1/3 cup water when reheating if you are freezing the pasta in the sauce. The pasta will be very soft using this method, like canned spaghetti.
Or you can go ahead and serve the heated sauce with cooked spaghetti and grated parmesan cheese.