What’s in your garden? By end of summer, most gardeners have an excess of not only zucchini, but also peppers, tomatoes, and various other vegetables. All-Purpose Summer Garden Italian Tomato Sauce is a great way to use up those vegetables. The vegetables are roughly chopped (since they’ll be ground up later, so it doesn’t matter if they are not uniform) and placed in the slow cooker. When everything is cooked, the sauce is put through a food mill for a perfectly smooth sauce that can be used on pasta, polenta, or gnocchi. If you’d rather have a chunky sauce, the food mill can be skipped and it can be put in the food processor or blender. Meats can be added to make a great meat sauce for dishes such as lasagna, or it can be used as a cooking sauce for pork chops, chicken, roasts, etc.
The bonus is that since the sauce is cooked in the slow cooker, none of the ingredients need to be sautéed or precooked in oil, even though the end product is a rich and delicious sauce. It’s virtually non-fat, low-calorie, and full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and all things good. The only real hands-on work is putting the finished product through a food mill, which takes about 30 minutes. Once packaged in zip-type bags in the freezer, this versatile sauce will prove to be a great timesaver whenever there’s a time crunch to get dinner on the table.
Makes about 4 quarts sauce
3 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 quarts fresh tomatoes, cut in half
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 pounds small zucchinis, cut into chunks
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano, or 3 tablespoons fresh
1 tablespoon dried basil, or 3 tablespoons fresh
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place all ingredients in the crock of a 5-7 quart slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours.
- Stir well and run the mixture through a food mill (or if one isn't available, blend in the blender and run through a fine strainer).
- Taste for seasoning and add more if necessary.
- Package in 2-3 cup portions in zip-type freezer bags; label and freeze.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 34 Calories from Fat 3
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 8% Protein 14% Carb. 78%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 301 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 66% Vitamin C 47% Calcium 0% Iron 3%