End Of The Road Pasta Sauce
RECIPE CREATED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH feather & hill farm x their csa program
A recipe that has been calling out to be written
I’ve been meaning to write this recipe for quite some time now, and the long weekend has given me the perfect opportunity. I scoured the fridge for left-behind-while-we-were-camping goodness and scored a few sad vegetables from CSA-shares-of-weeks-gone-by. I mixed them in with some fresh goodness and we are off to the races!
The vegetables in the photos are in their prime. They are beautiful, tender and ready to be noshed on raw, but we both know it isn’t always so. Some of these (maybe all of these) vegetables will eventually pass their prime in your crisper and then what’s a gal to do? You can’t possibly consider giving back to the earth what Heather worked so hard to cultivate, can you?!
So I have the perfect answer, End Of The Road Pasta Sauce! This is the sauce I typically make when I’m in a stock-up-the-freezer kind of mood, but it’s also something that you ought to consider making once every couple of weeks when the veggies get too much & the dinner options seem too few.
On a good year I would use field tomatoes
But you and I both know it hasn’t been a good year for tomatoes here in Alberta. It was a cool, damp season with very little in the ways of good-tomato-weather. So, canned tomatoes it is. There’s no shame in using canned tomatoes! Just use the best you can find with as few ingredients as possible.
What to add-in:
Here are some ideas of what I have included in this sauce in years gone by, it isn’t an exhaustive list by any means but you’ll quickly catch on that the key is in a few simple things.
The Always List
Tomato, onion, garlic, basil, salt. This is the base. Do not fret if you don’t have onion, as I hear good things of onion-less sauces, but otherwise, stick to your guns and go out to get an ingredient if it’s missing!
The Often List
Ground meat or lentils, celery, carrots, chilies, sweet peppers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens such as beet tops, chard, kale, kholrabi tops.
I have also, in the past, included some fridge strays that I wasn’t sure were going to be the best of fits but in the end, worked out swimmingly. These include kholrabi bulb, eggplant, yellow beets, asian greens.
The point is that you can really empty the crisper into this one and odds are it will work out brilliantly. If you’re trying to hide the veggies from the kids, there’s nothing simpler than dropping an immersion blender in there and making it smooth instead of chunky.
MAKES 6 medium freezer ziplock bags
10 cups of chopped veggies of your choice*
4 cloves garlic
2-3 cans diced tomato
2 lbs ground beef or 2 C dry lentil
2 T dried basil
1 T dried thyme
1 T dried oregano
1 T marjoram
1 t salt (add more to taste)
3 T olive oil
1 t butter
*in this version I used celery, carrot, zucchini, green onion & some leftover cauliflower that I had in the crisper.
Prep 20 mins + cook 20 mins
I usually start by chopping everything up. Using a food processor really speeds up the veggie chopping portion of this recipe, so use one if you have in on hand, if not chopping the good old way will do brilliantly.
In a large pot over medium high heat add olive oil and butter, add chopped garlic & onion, cook until fragrant.
If you are using meat, this is when you would be adding it in, cook until browned before going on to the next step (if you are using lentil, add them in with the tomato)
Add all of your veggies and cook them until the start to become soft then add your tomatoes and give everything a good stir.
Lower your heat to medium low and add a little bit of olive oil, salt, basil, marjoram, thyme & oregano. Do not mix, this will allow the oil to be infused with the herb flavors.
Let the sauce simmer for another 10 minutes or so and then mix & taste it.
You can add more salt & herbs at this stage if you prefer them to be more pronounced.
Enjoy it over pasta or with your favorite crusty bread then set aside to cool completely before storing in the freezer for an easy weeknight dinner.