This pasta sauce recipe can go from garden to dinner in an hour or less, and the beans add protein as well as fiber to fill you up and keep you satisfied longer. The fresh basil garnish adds a brightness that contrasts wonderfully with the tomato and garlic. I sometimes make it with diced eggplant that I saute in EVOO with rosemary and garlic before adding to the sauce.
Garden Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 6-8 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 small-medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 2 spines celery, chopped
- 2 white mushrooms (or a small portabello), chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped fine or grated
- 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
- Fresh basil, approx 12 leaves, mince half
- Spinach, approx. 3 large leaves, chopped
- 1-2 hot Portugal or chili peppers, minced (or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)
- 1 can (15.5 oz) Cannellini beans or red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 tsp capote capers
- 4 seedless Kalamata olives, chopped or halved
- Freshly grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Coat the bottom of a large fry pan with EVOO.
- Warm it, add the chopped onion and sprinkle lightly with black pepper and sea salt.
- Saute for about 2 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the minced hot pepper and saute together for a minute, then add the celery, mushrooms, zucchini, rosemary and bell pepper. Continue to saute for about 3 minutes.
- Make a little space in the pan and add the garlic, with a little more EVOO, and let it cook for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant, then quickly stir it in with the rest of the veggies. Be careful not to let the garlic turn brown.
- Add the tomatoes, spinach, and whole basil leaves and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until all the veggies are tender.
- Add the beans, capers, olives and crushed tomatoes.
- Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 20 minutes, continue to simmer while you heat water for your pasta and cook until desired tenderness. By the time your pasta is ready, the sauce should be done.
- Drain and toss the pasta in about a teaspoon of EVOO.
- Plate the pasta, add the sauce, drizzle just a bit of EVOO and top with minced basil leaves and grated cheese.