Thursday, March 17, 2011

My favorite Pasta Sauce

Ok, I'm going to beg, BEG you blog stalkers out there to never buy pasta sauce from a jar again. I will not judge you if you insist, but at least try this sauce, it will rock your world . I got this recipe from my good friend Traci, it is so adaptable and easy, and EASY is my middle name. FYI, this sauce is perfect for hiding vegetables. Yeah, you heard me. First I'll give you the basic sauce, and variations I like.

Traci's Pasta Sauce

1 TBS. dried minced onion
1 TBS. dried Parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp instant garlic, or 1-2 cloves fresh minced
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
(2) 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce
(1) 6 ounce can tomato paste
(1) can diced tomato
3/4 cup water or tomato juice

Put water and diced tomato in blender and puree. Make sure it equals 2 3/4 cups. If not, add more water. Pour into saucepan, add remaining ingredients and simmer for one hour. This can be simmered longer if needed.

**For a Meat sauce, I simply brown and break up 1/2 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage, drain any excess fat, then add ingredients as above.

**For a super veggie sauce, I saute one finely diced yellow or red sweet bell pepper in a little olive oil. When I puree the tomato and water, I also add 2 or 3 baby carrots. Believe me, NO ONE WILL NOTICE! It's a good way to get some extra vegetables.

I put this on Spaghetti, Ravioli, Penne.....or use it in a baked pasta with some Mozzarella on top. If you find it too acidic, add a little more sugar, or some red wine vinegar. Also, this sauce freezes well, just let it cool, place it in a gallon freezer bag, and voila, pasta goodness whenever!

Super Smoothie

I LOVE smoothies. I do not love when my $400.00 Vitamix breaks. So even though I'm in mourning, I will still share my favorite smoothie recipe. Don't be scared by the ingredients, *ahem* or the color!

Super smoothie

2 handfuls of raw baby spinach, washed.
2 baby carrots
1/2 cup low fat milk
1 TBS honey
1 TBS vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
1-2 cups frozen fruit blend (I like the one with pineapple, mango, and strawberry.)

Put all ingredients in blender. Blend away! You may have to add more liquid or ice depending on your preference for the consistency of your smoothie. This smoothie is very green, sweet, and full of vitamins.