The Farmer’s Market is something I look forward to throughout the year! One whiff of all the locally-grown fruits and vegetables immediately fuels my passion to get in the kitchen and cook — tomato sauce, eggplant dishes, baked zucchini, fresh salsa, fruit salads, and bodacious corn-on-the-cob to name but a few!
The aroma is so inviting — I can almost smell the cantaloupes and peaches while pulling in to park, and for me, shopping at a farmer’s market is much more fun than picking out my produce at a grocery store!
The girls and I went shopping yesterday and came home with our arms loaded with delicious produce. I have my eye on an eggplant recipe I want to share with you, and the first step was to make homemade Italian tomato sauce this morning! I have been using this recipe for years — it originally came from a wedding gift Jonathan and I received, Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook. Over the years, I have made several variations of this recipe — all are delicious with their slight changes in flavor. That being said, I have to tell you how much I love bell peppers — especially the red or orange ones. However, several years ago, I discovered the bianca bell pepper at our local farmer’s market, and now it is one of my favorites as well! I have incorporated the bianca bell pepper into my tomato sauce, and I am loving the results!
Italian Tomato Sauce
adapted from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook
*I prefer to use all organic ingredients
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped (I used a bianca bell pepper)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tablespoons dried Italian herbs (or fresh Italian herbs)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
-In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil and cook onion, bell pepper and garlic for two minutes, or until softened.
-Meanwhile, pour diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, herbs, salt and pepper into a large saucepan and stir on medium-low.
-Add onion, bell pepper and garlic to the tomato sauce and stir until well blended.
-Simmer on low for approximately 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Makes approximately 4 cups
So delicious on pasta, eggplant dishes, and meatball sandwiches!