Friday, March 25, 2011

Meatless Fridays

This week's meal could not be simpler! Put all the ingredients in a crockpot and forget about it. The longer you cook this sauce on low heat the thicker and richer it will be! If desired you can double (or triple!) the recipe, this sauce freezes very well! I also puree mine at the end for a smoother texture. Keep a couple of ziplock bags of this goodie in the freezer for meals in a pinch.
This week's Meatless Friday meal is:

Crockpot Marinara Sauce

1 (28 ounce) can whole Italian-style tomatoes (cut up and undrained)
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (can use more)
1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 -3 teaspoons brown sugar
2 -3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (rubbed between fingers to release the flavors)
2 -4 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 large bay leaf
salt and black pepper

Place ALL ingredients in a minimum 4-quart crock pot, mix well cover and cook on low heat for about 8-10 hours. Uncover and cook on high heat for the last 1-1/2 hours. Season with additional salt, pepper, and fresh herbs to taste.

(If using fresh herbs, always make sure to add them at the end of cooking. Otherwise they turn brown and sometimes bitter!)

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