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The Best Tomato Sauce Ever

David Loftus

Load up on veggies! A portion of this sauce contains 2 to 3 servings of vegetables, so it's a great way to get goodness into your kids.

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES COOKING TIME: 1 HOUR

Prep your veggies: Peel 2 small onions, trim 1 small leek (thoroughly washed of sand) and 2 stalks celery, halve and deseed 2 red bell peppers, then roughly chop everything. Use the coarse side of a box grater to grate 2 zucchinis and 2 carrots.

Heat a large saucepan (big enough to hold all the ingredients) over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, followed by all your chopped and grated veggies. Add a large pinch of dried oregano and 2 bay leaves, then cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes with the lid on, or until the vegetables are soft but not starting to brown.

Meanwhile, peel 1 small butternut squash, then carefully cut it in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and coarsely grate the flesh. Add it to the pan of vegetables. Add 4 (14.5 oz) cans plum tomatoes with juice, 2 cups water, a pinch of sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Take the pan off the heat, spoon out the bay leaves, and let the sauce cool slightly before blitzing with a stick blender until smooth (or use a blender or food processor in batches, but make sure the lid is secure). Makes 13 cups. Serve with Spring Pasta Recipe.

What is an approximate porition size? Adults = 1 cup of cooked pasta + ½ cup of sauce. Kids ages 2 to 11 = ¼ to ½ cup of cooked pasta + ¼ to ½ cup of sauce, depending on child's age, size, and activity level.

Fast Freezer Tip: I make this sauce once a month, then divide the leftovers between large freezer bags. Press as much air out of the bags as possible before sealing them, then lay flat in the freezer. This way, you can just pull out what you'll need and the bag will thaw evenly and quickly. This tip also applies to other sauces, soups, and stews.

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