I first read this recipe in a Delicious magazine about 9 years ago. With a toddler at the time, we were going through the ‘101 ways to get vegetables’ into him phase.
This sauce has been a winner over the years and I use it as a base for homemade pizzas (post to come later in the week), in bolognese or lasagna and basically anytime a tomato based sauce is needed.
I would call this a ‘make ahead meal’. It takes a little chopping and about 30 minutes cooking on the stove. It’s perfect to make on the weekend and freeze in containers ready for whenever you need it.
The quantity below makes about 4 litres – which is enough for about 3-4 separate meals. I made a lasagna out of it and have enough left in the freezer for a few pizza nights and probably 2 other dinners at some point. It’s quite thick, but can be thinned out by just adding water.
1 spanish onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, white part only, washed and partly chopped
2 celery stalks, washed and roughly chopped
1 large zucchini, washed and roughly chopped
1 red capsicum, washed, de-seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 small butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed and grated
2 x 800gm cans of crushed tomatoes
Flavourings to taste like salt and pepper, dried herbs or a few splashes of balsamic vinegar.
Heat a good splash of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
Add onion, leek, celery, zucchini and capsicum. Cook, covered for 10 minutes or until softened. You may need to lower the heat at this stage and give it a stir occasionally.
Add the pumpkin and cook, uncovered for another 5 minutes or until soft.
Add the canned tomatoes, season at this stage with dried herbs like basil or oregano, salt and pepper and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Stir thoroughly and bring to the boil.
Simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Using a stick blender (or a food processor, which you may have to do in batches) blend until smooth. Add some water if it’s too thick for you.
Cool slightly before pouring into snap lock bags or containers suitable for freezing and freeze until needed.