Tag Archives: tomato sauce

Simple Summer Sauce

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In the summer, I love to make nice chunky tomato sauce with whatever local vegetables I can get my hands on. The farmers’ market has been kind and supplied me with the perfect ingredients.

Start by heating two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in your favorite pot over medium heat. I use a six quart dutch oven so I have plenty of room to work with.

Dice one large sweet onion and three large carrots. Add into the dutch oven, salt well and sauté until the onion is translucent.

While the onion and carrots sauté, finely mince four to six cloves of garlic; depending of how much garlic you prefer. My family loves garlic so I use six cloves. Add into the dutch oven and sauté until fragrant.

Two green peppers, diced, get added in next. Continue to sauté until all of the vegetables are beginning to get tender.

Strain six quarts of whole tomatoes and add to the vegetables. I used canned tomatoes from our pantry; whatever you have in your pantry will work. Stir well and break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Add in one cup of your favorite red wine. I had a beautiful bottle of Merlot on hand that my husband’s coworker, a winemaker, had given us. Always cook with a wine you enjoy drinking and you can not go wrong.

Bring to a boil and immediately turn the temperature down. The sauce should barely be at a simmer. Continue to simmer for two to three hours. This gives the flavors generous time to marry and also allows the sauce to thicken. Stir occasionally.

Add in some fresh thyme, basil and oregano. I used fresh picked from my herb garden, but herbs from the farmers’ market, store bought, or in a pinch dried herbs will work also. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

As is, this makes a nice chunky sauce. If you prefer a smoother sauce, use an immersion blender until it reaches the desired texture. The recipe makes enough for three batches, one to enjoy and two to freeze for future enjoyment.

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Kale Stuffed Shells

I love kale! I also love stuffed shells. One day I thought “why not combine them”? The resulting dish was a hearty, healthy and delicious meal! As a bonus, this recipe made enough for two batches. One to enjoy and one to put in the freezer for a quick meal another day.

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Dice and sweat two onions and five cloves of garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

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This beautiful bunch of kale gets chopped, on the small side, and added to the skillet with the onions and garlic.

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Meanwhile, mix together two containers of dairy free ricotta, half bag of dairy free mozzarella, two eggs, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Tofu can be substituted for the dairy free ricotta if you can not find it. Also, the eggs can be omitted to make this vegan. I prefer the texture with them though. You can also feel free to use full dairy cheese if you prefer.

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Once the kale has wilted nicely, combine with the dairy free ricotta mixture.

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Next cover the bottom of a nine by thirteen baking dish with sauce. We used two pints of our roasted garlic tomato sauce from this summer’s canning project. Feel free to use whatever sauce you have in the pantry.

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While preparing everything, cook one box of large stuffed shells two minutes shy of the directions. They will continue to cook while baking. You do not want mushy pasta! Drain and rinse in cold water. Stuff each shell with about a tablespoon of the dairy free ricotta mixture and place in the baking dish.

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Once the baking dish is full, cover the shells with more sauce, the remaining half bag of dairy free mozzarella, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

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Bake in a 375* oven for fifteen minutes covered and an additional fifteen minutes uncovered. The cheese should be melted nicely.

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These shell are delicious, healthy and also very filling! I could only eat three!


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