Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blender Spaghetti Sauce

I like homemade spaghetti sauce, and because I don't like to use canned tomatoes because of the BPA, I have in recent years canned tomatoes in the early fall  and then use them for the fall, winter, and spring when I wanted to make spaghetti sauce.  And it's not rocket science: I'd just saute some onion and garlic, and then add the jars of tomatoes I'd canned along with some roasted peppers from the freezer, kale from the garden, red wine, salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaves, chopped mushrooms, hot pepper flakes, a little sugar . . . and whatever else struck my fancy.

Since we moved to the Dominican Republic, I have had fresh local tomatoes year-round.  This actually didn't seem so great for spaghetti sauce making, initially.  Because while the above formula makes a quick and easy sauce when you have canned tomatoes on hand, somehow a bag of fresh tomatoes and peppers inspires less motivation for making spaghetti.  Too much work.  And so, always driven by a sort of creative laziness, I came up with a quick pasta sauce for when all you have on hand is fresh ingredients . . . using the blender.

I throw the onion and garlic in the blender first (with the peppers, if there's room), and do my best to pulse them without pureeing them.  Then I dump them into the pot with some olive oil and salt and get them sauteing.  Then I throw the tomatoes into the blender and blend lightly (usually I have to do a couple of rounds, for a full pot of sauce) and once the starter veggies are sauteed, I add the tomato and a little wine.  Sometimes (when I'm in a hurry, which I usually am) I'll even blend the mushrooms with some of the other vegetables.  I add the seasonings I mentioned earlier, and then I'm done.

Then I just let it cook on the stove while I make eggplant or ground beef and while I cook the noodles and make a salad.  And when everything else is ready, the sauce is ready.  Anyway, I realize that for most of my readers, this is not the season for fresh local tomatoes or peppers.  But it really is fast and easy, and if I don't share it now, I don't know if I'll remember to later.  So at the very least, here's something to try this summer when you have fresh tomatoes on hand! :)

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