One of my favorite way to sneak in extra vegetables is by making big batches of homemade pizza sauce. Actually, you can use this sauce for pasta, lasagna, eggplant parmesan or anything that requires a marinara-type sauce, but we call any sort of marinara "pizza sauce" to help encourage R and G to eat it. They love pizza; tomatoes and vegetables, not nearly as much.
But tomatoes and vegetables abound in this simple pizza sauce. You can somewhat alter this recipe to what vegetables you have on hand, but you need to keep the base of this sauce tomatoes, or the flavor suffers.
This recipes uses roasted tomatoes and vegetables, which allows you to simply pop the tray in the oven like this:
And then walk away from the oven, do whatever other work you need, and come back 30-40 minutes later to this:
If you haven't tried roasted tomatoes before, I really encourage you to give it a try. Roasting concentrates and enhances the flavors of the tomatoes, almost giving them a slightly sweetened or caramelized flavor.
After roasting, a quick whirl in the food processor yields a smooth pizza sauce that your kids will gobble up!
Roasted (Vegetable) Pizza Sauce
12 tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
2 handfuls of baby carrots
1 red bell pepper, cored and quartered
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
a handful of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a foil lined cookie sheet, place the tomatoes, onion, carrots, bell pepper and garlic. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are browned, but not burnt.
Remove the tray from the oven and let cool.
In a food processor, place the roasted vegetables and basil. Process until smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Add the olive oil as you continue to process the sauce, to help further smooth and flavor the pizza sauce.
Since tomatoes vary in size and amount of moisture, you *may* need to add a bit of jarred tomato sauce to help achieve the desired consistency.
Use immediately or freeze in small portions for future use.