I get so excited walking into a grocery store this time of year. The produce section is brimming with local vegetables and fruits, teeming with potential. This recipe is perfect for late summer or early autumn’s bounty. Equally good with pasta and spaghetti squash, baked eggs, or even on a spoon (don’t feel guilty, it’s mostly just vegetables!), I have found many ways to use this hearty sauce.
Aside from all of the chopping, the prep isn’t bad – and you’ll already have an open bottle of wine from which to sip. Talk a friend into sharing the knife work and promise them some sauce, it makes plenty, or invite friends and family over for a harvest dinner. And while this can be made year round, it’s incomparable when you have flavorful, fresh produce at your disposal.
Garden Veggie Sauce
1/2 lb. thick cut bacon
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 c. roughly chopped mushrooms
1 tbsp. Italian herb blend
28 oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 c. red wine*
1 sprig rosemary
1 lb. Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
*Note: Fruity, bold, spicy Lodi Zinfandel is my favorite type of wine to use for this recipe. Nothing too expensive or fancy but delicious enough to sip while you cook, 7 Deadly Zins Is my go-to pick.
Directions: Cut bacon into lardons. In a deep, heavy bottomed pot (a Dutch oven works well), fry bacon. Add onion and garlic, sauté until aromatic and almost translucent. Add bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and Italian herbs. Using your hands, crush the San Marzano tomatoes as you add them to the pot. Add liquid from San Marzano tomatoes, brown sugar, wine, and rosemary. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Add Roma tomatoes and yellow squash, simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes.
Serve with the rest of the wine!
You can serve with spaghetti squash or pasta, thin with broth and serve as a veggie soup, or use as a base for shakshouka or baked eggs…or with a spoon and some crusty bread.