It is that time of year when we have so many vegetables from our garden that we just can’t eat them fast enough! I admit, in the past I have resorted to leaving zucchini on the neighbors porch, ringing the doorbell, and running! However, we have recently moved and I have decided that “zucchini ding-dong-ditch” may not be the best way to introduce ourselves to our new neighbors.
Homemade marinara is such a versatile recipe. I choose to make a very basic sauce that I can then freeze in individual portions. I can then spice it up, add meat, other vegetables, or whatever I need to make meals throughout the winter when I no longer have fresh tomatoes, squash, and carrots.
15 large tomatoes
1 medium squash
2 large carrots
1 c. parsley, stems removed
1 T. olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 T. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
1. You will need to blanch the tomatoes in order to remove the skin. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. While water comes to a boil score the bottoms of the tomatoes. This helps to peel the skin off easier.
Once the water has come to a boil, add the tomatoes and boil for 45 seconds. You will have to do this in a few batches.
Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water into the ice bath to stop the cooking.
Peel off the skin. Then cut the tomatoes over a large bowl (it can be the same garbage bowl you use for the skins) and squeeze out the seeds.
Place the tomatoes in the crock pot. You don’t have to chop them small; they will cook so long they will just fall apart (plus you will also puree in the end).
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the shredder blade in your food processor. Shred up the squash and carrots. Chop the parsley. Add the squash, carrots, and parsley to the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Add mixture to the crock pot. Add spices and vinegar, stir, put on lid, and let the crock pot do its magic.
4. I chose to put all the ingredients into the crock pot and have it cook on low over night (and then for most of the day as a tweaked the spices). Cook vegetables in crock pot on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
5. Use a hand blender or put the sauce in batches into your food processor and blend until smooth. Place back into crock pot. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Cook another hour or so on high.
6. Serve immediately or freeze in 1-2 cup portions for use later.