This pasta sauce was created out of pure frustration and my trying to figure out a way to get some vegetables into my 5 year old son who wanted NOTHING to do with them. He loved (and still does) pasta and would request butter or plain tomato sauce … ONLY! So, I figured if I could somehow mask the vegetables in a sauce, I could trick him. Guess what? It worked! And, even though he’s almost 13 now and not such a picky eater any longer, this is still one of his favorite sauces. We all like it. I hope you can fool your picky eater as well. This recipe can be made with or without meat. We happen to really like it with ground turkey, but ground beef or no meat at all is just as delicious.
Kimmie Bee’s ‘fool even the pickiest eater’ Pasta Sauce
1 1b of ground turkey
2 carrots, sliced (you don’t have to be precise because you will be blending them)
1 stalk of celery, chopped (tops included … that’s where ALL the flavor is)
1 onion, chopped
1 green, red & yellow bell pepper, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
1 8 oz pkg of baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
1 small jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, chopped
2 tsp of dried oregano
2 tsp of dried thyme
2 tsp of red pepper flakes (adjust to your tastebuds or omit altogether)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (approx. 1 tsp each)
olive oil to coat the pan
1 – 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1- 14.5oz can of tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
Sauté the ground turkey in the olive oil on medium high heat until browned. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, drizzle a little more olive oil and add the carrots, celery onion, peppers, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. Cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. You don’t want the garlic to brown. Add the tomato paste and cook; while stirring for 2 minutes. Add the basil, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme & red pepper flakes and stir. Place the veggie mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add the crushed red tomatoes, tomato sauce and the ground turkey. Simmer for at least 1 hour; stirring frequently. You can add pasta water during cooking if the sauce needs to be thinned out. Just before serving, add the cheese, stir and serve over your favorite pasta.
If you own an immersion blender, add the crushed tomatoes & tomato sauce to the pot of sautéed veggies and then blend with the immersion blender. Then, add the ground turkey and simmer. And, remember, you can use ground beef; make homemade meatballs (recipe coming soon) or omit the meat altogether.