One very distinct memory I have from my childhood is the smell of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. A homemade meat sauce, it is a definite contributor as to why spaghetti is still my favorite meal to this day. As a kid, I used to think the reason I loved it so much was because of my Italian roots. After all, my great-grandparents on my mom’s side were from Sicily. It never occurred to me that not only is my mom also German, but my dad isn’t Italian whatsoever, and he definitely made several contributions to the sauce, with (and without) my mom’s knowledge.
Well, despite my love for this sauce, it wasn’t enough to make me shun picking up a jar of Ragu at the grocery store over the years. After all, who has the time to spend with a pot on the stove all afternoon? But this year, during my weekly meal planning I neglected to remember the first Friday of Lent, which left me struggling to put together a substantial meal. Feeling tired of the same old spaghetti, I decided I’d add some zucchini to the sauce. Then I remembered my son’s new found (as it turned out, short-lived) appreciation of cooked carrots, so I started chopping those as well. The result was an easy-to-make sauce, which was also a good way to get veggies into my toddler (and husband!). And I didn’t even end up using the jar of sauce. To make it even easier, do the chopping the night before.
Ingredients : l
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced carrots (approx 7 baby carrots)
- ½ cup thinly sliced, bite-size zucchini (1 small)
- 1 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
- 1 8oz can Italian tomato sauce
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp thyme
- Kosher salt
- Pepper (to taste)
- Onion powder (to taste)
- 1 tsp sugar
- Topping: shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sauté garlic over med low heat
- Add carrots, cook for 5 min
- Add zucchini, cook for 5 min
- Add tomatoes, sauce, and spices
- Cover and cook 5 min
- Turn up head to med high, uncover and cook until veggies are tender.Serve over pasta of choice and sprinkle with cheese.Yum!